Researchers Find High Prevalence of Mobile Phone Contamination With Candida

It is known that mobile phones may play a role in microorganism transmission. The aim of this study by Kordecka, et al. (2016) was to analyze the relationship between the number of Candida genera/species isolated from samples collected from the surfaces of mobile phones and the hands of the staff, as well as the preferred health-related behavior.

The mycological evaluation included 175 mobile telephones and the hands of staff members at the University Hospital in Bialystok, Poland. The researchers used the Count-TactTM applicator, with CandiSelect (Bio-Rad). A self-administered questionnaire was used to gather data on mobile phones disinfection practices. Assessment of the preferred health-related behavior was based on the Multidemensional Health Locus of Control Scale (MHLC).

Out of 175 mobile phones, 131 (74.9  percent) were colonized. Candida glabrata, C. albicans and C.krusei were isolated more frequently from the hand as well as phone surface. The mean number of Candida colonies was higher in samples collected from hand surfaces than mobile phone surfaces. No significant correlation was found between the preferred health-related behavior and the frequency of washing hands, the way of using a mobile phone, the number of colonies or the isolation frequency for the fungi collected from the surface of the phones and hands of their owners. Only 19.4  percent of the participants cleaned the surface of their phones.

The researchers concluded that the prevalence of mobile phone contamination by Candida is high in the University Hospital in Bialystok, Poland. Candida albicans, C. glabrata, and C. krusei were the dominant species in the samples collected from mobile phones and hands. They add that these results underscore the need to develop guidelines for mobile phone disinfection.

Reference: Kordecka A, Krajewska-Kulak E, et al.  Isolation frequency of Candida present on the surfaces of mobile phones and hands. BMC Infectious Diseases. 2016;16:238.