Mobile phones are hazardous microbial platforms warranting robust public health and biosecurity protocols

  27 June 2022

Advancements in technology and communication have revolutionised the twenty-first century with the introduction of mobile phones and smartphones. These phones are known to be platforms harbouring microbes with recent research shedding light on the abundance and broad spectrum of organisms they harbour. Mobile phone use in the community and in professional sectors including health care settings is a potential source of microbial dissemination. To identify the diversity of microbial genetic signature present on mobile phones owned by hospital medical staff. Twenty-six mobile phones of health care staff were swabbed. DNA extraction for downstream next generation sequencing shotgun metagenomic microbial profiling was performed. Survey questionnaires were handed to the staff to collect information on mobile phone usage and users’ behaviours. Each of the 26 mobile phones of this study was contaminated with microbes with the detection of antibiotic resistance and virulent factors. 

Further reading: Nature Scientific Reports
Author(s): Matthew Olsen et al
Effective Surveillance  
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