- Staphylococcus aureus was present on 40% of cell phones examined among health professions students in this study, presented at ASM Microbe 2019.
Why this matters
- S aureus is known for causing hospital- and community-based infections, and for its ready acquisition of antibiotic resistance.
- Health professionals are likely to pick up such microbes in the course of their work; this study shows that their cell phones can then be contaminated.
- Care should be applied when using cell phones in the healthcare environment.
- A senior author on the study says that the widespread use of cell phones in healthcare settings raises major concerns about their being a reservoir of infectious agents.
- 40% of samples contained S aureus, 70% of them from nursing students.
- 85% of these samples showed penicillin resistance.
- 50% of these S aureus-positive samples also could form biofilm.
- None of the samples contained Escherichia coli.
- 100 cell phones were examined from students in health professions classes (eg, nursing, dentistry).
- Funding: São Paulo Research Foundation.
- Single student population in 1 region.
- Results presented without peer review at a conference.