Bacterial Contamination of Public Telephone Receivers in a Hospital


  • Emorn Pasatung
  • Ganjana Nathapindhu


Background: The public telephones are used by a number of people daily at a Hospital. The public telephones in the hospital can be the source of transmission of infection that can infect people who use the public telephones. This may cause health problems .

Objective: To identify the  bacterial that contamination hospital public telephones.

Materials and methods: The samples were collected by sterile swab moistened with  phosphate buffer on  handles, earpieces and mouthpieces of 47 public telephone receivers in  hospital in December 2006. We collected a total of 141 samples from the hospital and 30 samples from the control group of 30 samples from food center to serve as control group. The samples were cultured and examined by standard microbiological laboratory methods.

Design: Experimental microbiological study

Setting: A hospital with 821 beds and food center, Khon kaen province

Result: Nine different types of microorganisms were isolated and identified from   telephone receivers in the hospital. The most frequent microorganisms were coagulase-negative staphylococci, Bacillus spp., Micrococcus spp., and Corynebacterium spp. (n=47,100%, n=45,95.74% , n=43,91.49%, n=38, 80.85%), respectively. The least frequent organisms were Viridans streptococci, Pseudomonas stutzeri, methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus, (MSSA), Pseudomonas spp., and Fungi. (n=5, 10.64%, n=5, 10.64%,  n=2,4.26%, n=1,2.35%, n=10,21.28%), respectively. At the food center there were coagulase-negative staphylococci, Bacillus spp., Corynebacterium spp,Micrococcus spp., P. stutzeri and Fungi (n=10,  100%, n=10, 100%, n=10, 100%,n=5,50%, n=1,10%, n=1,10%), respectively.

Conclusions: Public telephone receivers in a hospital and food center were contaminated with several types of microorganisms.Most of  these isolates were non-pathogenic organisms (traditional skin flora or environmental surfaces). The minority  of  these  were potential pathogens.

Key  words : Bacterial contamination,   Public telephone, Hospital


How to Cite

Pasatung E, Nathapindhu G. Bacterial Contamination of Public Telephone Receivers in a Hospital. SRIMEDJ [Internet]. 2013 Nov. 11 [cited 2024 Jun. 13];22(4):443-8. Available from:



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