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Smith SI, Opere B, Goodluck HT, Akindolire OT, Folaranmi A, Odekeye OM, Omonigbehin EA
Correspondence: Dr Stella Ifeanyi Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction Microorganisms are transferred to everyday objects from the environment and infected individuals. Pathogenic microbes are transmissible from the air, skin, hands and other interpersonal contacts and cause diseases most of the time. This study centres on the microbial assessment of telephone receivers, their ability to transfer bacterial infections and the isolation of these microorganisms from receivers, with an emphasis on Staphylococcus aureus and its antibiotic susceptibility pattern.
Methods 1,591 isolates were obtained from roadside telephone booths in 16 different locations in the Lagos metropolis. They were all characterised using the Cowan and Steel’s manual, after which the antimicrobial susceptibility pattern of the most frequently-occurring isolate was determined.
Results Of all the locations, Oshodi was found to have the largest number of microorganisms, with Akoka having the least. The organisms were Providencia, Klebsiella, Citrobacter, Enterobacter, Proteus, Escherichia, Staphylococcus, Bacillus, Streptococcus, Micrococcus and yeast. Staphylococcus spp. was the most frequently occurring, making up 20.2 percent of the total number of isolated organisms, followed by Bacillus (18 percent), while Enterobacter and Citrobacter were the least common. 44 percent of the total Staphylococcus screened for an antimicrobial susceptibility pattern showed high resistance to most of the antibiotics used.
Conclusion This result could be related to the emergence of Staphylococcus-resistant strains, especially in a highly-populated area where there are health and hygiene problems and where drugs are abused. Precautions should be taken to prevent the spread of infectious diseases through the use of public telephones.
Keywords: antibiotic resistance, antimicrobial susceptibility pattern, Staphylococcus aureus, telephone receivers
Singapore Med J 2009; 50(2): 208-211