Microbial contamination of laptop/ keyboards in dental settings
Background: Computers/ laptops are ubiquitous in the healthcare setting and have been shown to be contaminated with potentially pathogenic microorganisms. Aims & Objectives: To determine the degree of pathogenicity on the computer/laptops keyboards. Materials & Methods: Specimens were collected from 25 laptops that were located in the clinical section of a dental college. To determine the level of microbial contamination for the disinfection efficacy testing, a single sterile swab moistened with trypticase soy broth (TSB) was wiped over the entire keyboard surface of the laptop. Results: Potential pathogens cultured from more than 80% of the computers. These organisms included coagulase-negative staphylococci (88% of keyboards), diphtheroids (80% of keyboards), Micrococcus species (40% of keyboards), and Bacillus species (60% of keyboards). Other pathogens cultured included Oxacillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (ORSA) (8% of keyboards), Oxacillin Susceptible Staphylococcus Aureus (OSSA) (4% of keyboards), vancomycin-susceptible Enterococcus species (16% of keyboards), Streptococci (29% of keyboards) and Aspergillus (36% of keyboards). Conclusions: The data from the study suggests that microbial contamination of keyboards is prevalent and that keyboards may be successfully decontaminated with disinfectants. Keyboards should be disinfected daily or when visibly soiled or if they become contaminated with blood.
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