Do mobile phones of patients, companions and visitors carry multidrug-resistant hospital pathogens?
Short answer: Yes
Long answer: Significantly higher rates of pathogens (39.6% vs 20.6%, respectively; P
= .02) were found in mobile phones of patients' (n = 48) versus the health care workers' (n =
12). There were also more multidrug pathogens in the patients' mobile phones
including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli, and Klebsiella spp, high-level aminoglycoside-resistant Enterococcus spp, and carabepenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumanii.
Our findings suggest that mobile phones of patients, patients'
companions, and visitors represent higher risk for nosocomial pathogen
colonization than those of health care workers. Specific infection control measures may
be required for this threat.