Assessment of healthcare workers’ smartphones for microbial contamination

Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 2022; 24(1):83-88

Original Article


To assess bacterial contamination of smartphone surfaces belonging to medical staff and medical students who provide round-the-clock medical care in Krasnoyarsk hospitals and who do not work in those institutions.

Materials and Methods.

Bacterial contamination of 122 smartphones owned by medical staff and medical students was studied in the following groups: doctors (n = 31), nurses (n = 29), students, who work in MIs (n = 27), and students who do not work in MIs (n = 35). The study included a survey for all participants to assess frequency of their smartphones cleaning.


Every fifth smartphone (26 of 122) was found to be contaminated. Staphylococcus spp. were identified on the devices of 27.6% of nurses, 13% of doctors, 14.8% of students working in MIs, and 20% of students not working in MIs. E. coli strains were not found. However, four cultures belonging to Acinetobacter spp. with three samples belonging to the A. baumannii were isolated from nurses’ smartphones. According to the results of the survey, 18% (n = 22) of the study participants never clean their smartphones, including 3.5% (n = 1) of nurses, 9.7% (n = 3) of doctors, 22.2% (n = 6) of students who work in MIs and 34.3% (n = 12) of students who do not work in MIs. In general, healthcare workers (doctors, nurses, working students) disinfect their smartphones significantly more frequently (several times a day) than students who do not work in MIs (13 of these students never do this, (p ≤ 0.05)). About 88% of the responders who regularly clean their smartphones use alcohol or alcohol wipes.


It is necessary to strengthen control over the microbiological safety of healthcare institutions staff’s smartphones. Also, it is essential to strengthen medical students’ training on the issue of healthcare-associated infections dissemination mechanisms.

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