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American Journal of Public Health Research. 2014, 2(2), 46-50
DOI: 10.12691/ajphr-2-2-2
Open AccessArticle

Bacterial Contamination and Public Health Risk Associated with the Use of Banks’ Automated Teller Machines (Atms) in Ebonyi State, Nigeria

Stanley Chukwudozie Onuoha1, and Kayode Fatokun2

1Department of Biotechnology, Ebonyi State University, PMB 053 Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria

2Department of Agriculture, University of Zululand, PMB X1001 Kwa Dlangezwa 3886, South Africa

Pub. Date: March 10, 2014

Cite this paper:
Stanley Chukwudozie Onuoha and Kayode Fatokun. Bacterial Contamination and Public Health Risk Associated with the Use of Banks’ Automated Teller Machines (Atms) in Ebonyi State, Nigeria. American Journal of Public Health Research. 2014; 2(2):46-50. doi: 10.12691/ajphr-2-2-2


Contamination of environmental objects and surfaces is a common phenomenon. Human beings have a marked tendency to pick up microorganisms from environmental objects, and specially the hand has been shown to play a role in the transmission of organisms. The ATM machine is likely to be contaminated with various microorganisms due to their vast contact by multiple users. This study was aimed to investigate ATM as a potential source of bacterial contamination. The study was conducted from August to October, 2013 and it involved collection of samples by using cotton swabs, culturing on different media such as nutrient agar, MacConkey as well as identifying the isolated organisms using its colonial, morphological and biochemical characteristics. The results of the study indicated that some of the Automated Teller Machines were positive for the presence of microorganisms as indicated: Staphylococcus auerus 4 (28.57%), Coagulase-negative staphylococcus 3 (21.43%), Streptococcus species 2 (14.29%), Pseudomonas species 1 (7.14%), Enterobacter species 1 (7.14%) and Escherichia coli 3 (21.43%). The antibiogram study was done using Kirby Bauer disc- diffusion method and the results showed that majority of the bacteria were highly resistant to standard antibiotics. Susceptibility of isolates ranged from 6.25% to of 25.0%, indicating that most of the antibiotics used were ineffective. Staphylococcus. aureus, Streptoccus spp and P. aeruginosa showed 68.75% resistance to the antibiotics, whilst E. coli (56.25%), Enterobacter spp (50%) and CNS showed 18.75% susceptibility each. Overall, Gentamicin was the most effective antibiotic, while Ofloxacin, Clindamycin, Cefixine, Levofloxacin and Ciprofloxacin were least effective. Hand washing after ATM usage and proper cleaning regimen should be practiced to reduce contamination on the ATMs.

Automated teller machines antibiotics bacteria Ebonyi State

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