Biomedicine and Biotechnology
ISSN (Print): 2378-5527 ISSN (Online): 2378-5535 Website: Editor-in-chief: Apply for this position
Open Access
Journal Browser
Biomedicine and Biotechnology. 2015, 3(1), 1-7
DOI: 10.12691/bb-3-1-1
Open AccessArticle

Bacterial Profile and Their Antimicrobial Susceptibility Patterns of Computer Keyboards and Mice at Gondar University Hospital, Northwest Ethiopia

Agersew Alemu1, , Degisew Misganaw1 and Yitayih Wondimeneh1

1School of Biomedical and Laboratory Sciences, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia

Pub. Date: February 11, 2015

Cite this paper:
Agersew Alemu, Degisew Misganaw and Yitayih Wondimeneh. Bacterial Profile and Their Antimicrobial Susceptibility Patterns of Computer Keyboards and Mice at Gondar University Hospital, Northwest Ethiopia. Biomedicine and Biotechnology. 2015; 3(1):1-7. doi: 10.12691/bb-3-1-1


Background: The microorganisms can found in every environment and pathogenic bacteria pose serious health problems. Computer keyboards and mice have been documented as an environmental object or fomites serving as sources of microorganisms particularly in the hospital setting. According to some reports, due to the application of the computer in the hospital environment, cross contamination of microorganism from healthcare provider to the patient is common. Objective: the aim of this study was to assess bacterial isolates and their drug susceptibility patterns from computer keyboards and mouse from Gondar University Hospital, Northwest Ethiopia.Methodology: A cross sectional study was conducted in Gondar University Hospital from April 30 to June 30/ 2013. Samples were collected from computers located in Gondar University Hospital by using sterile cotton swaps. Then the collected samples were inoculated on BAP, CAP and MAC media. The bacterial isolates were examined and identified by colonial morphology, Gram reaction and biochemical characteristics. Antibiotic susceptibility test was done by disc diffusion method. Data analysis was done by using SPSS version 20 and P – values less than 0.05 were considered statistically significant. Result: Growth was seen in all samples. From the total bacterial isolates, 208 (60.5%) were Gram positive bacteria and 136 (39.5%) were Gram negative bacteria. The isolates included Coagulase negative staphylococcus (CoNs), Bacillus spp. and Staphylococcus aureus. Providential spp., Citrobacter spp. Enterobacter spp, E.coli, Acenitobacter spp, Seratia spp P. aeruginosa, and Proteus spp. It is very dreadful to observe that some of these bacteria are highly resistant to the commonly used antibiotics. Moreover, multidrug resistance was observed. Conclusion: Isolation of bacteria from “high-touch” surfaces such as computer keyboardsa and mice is indicative of the need for awareness on cleaning of such surfaces or disinfection and adequate hand hygiene. These bacteria identified have pathogenic potential and hence their presence on computer surfaces may be additional reservoirs for the transmission of microorganisms and become vectors for cross-transmission of bacterial infections in the hospitals/health care setting and its surroundings.

computer keyboard mice bacterial profile antimicrobial resistant Ethiopia

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  Al-Ghamdi AK, Abdelmalek SMA,Ashshi AM, Faidah H, Shukri H,Jiman-Fatani AA. Bacterial contamination of computer keyboards and mice, elevator buttons and shopping carts. J Afr Micro Resear 2011; 5(23): 3998-4003.
[2]  Hong DY, Park SO, Lee KP, Baek KJ, Moon HW,Han SB, etal.Bacterial contamination of computer and hand hygiene compliance in the emergency department. J emerg med. 2012; 19: 387-393.
[3]  Glenn Anderson, Enzo A. Palombo. Microbial contamination of computer keyboards in a university setting: American Journal of Infection Control 2009; 37: 507-9.
[4]  RutalaWA, White MS, Gergen MF,Weber DJ. Bacterial contamination of keyboards: efficacy and functional impact of disinfectants. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiology 2006; 27: 372.
[5]  Hubar JS, Pelon W. Low-cost screening for microbial contaminants in aerosols generated in a dental office: Gen Dent 2005; 53: 270.
[6]  Bures S, Fishbain JT, Uyehara CF, Parker JM, Berg BW. Computer keyboards and faucet handles as reservoirs of nosocomial pathogens in the intensive care unit. American Journal of Infection Control 2000; 28:465-471.
[7]  Neely AN, Maley MP, Warden GD. Computer keyboards as reservoirs for Acinetobacter baumannii in a burn hospital. Clinical Infection Diseases 1999; 29:1358-1360.
[8]  William A. Rutala, Matthew S. White, Maria F. Gergen, David J. Weber. Bacterial Contamination of Keyboards: Efficacy and Functional Impact of Disinfectants. Infection control and hospital epidemiology 2006; 27(4): 372-377.
[9]  Neely AN, Sittig DF. Basic microbiologic and infection control information to reduce the potential transmission of pathogens to patients via computer hardware. J Am Med Inform Assoc 2002; 9: 500-508.
[10]  Hartmann B, Benson M, Junger A, Quinzio L, Rohrig R, Fengler B, Farber UW, Wille B, Hempelmann G. Computer keyboard and mouse as a reservoir of pathogens in an intensive care unit. Journal of Clinical Monitoring and Computing 2004; 18: 7-12.
[11]  Burke JP. Infection control—a problem for patient safety. New England Medical Journal 2003; 348: 651-656.
[12]  Engelhart S, Fischnaller E, Simon A, Gebel J, Büttgen S, Exner M. Microbial contamination of computer user interfaces (keyboard, mouse) in a tertiary care centre under conditions of practice. Hyg Med 2008; 33: 504-507.
[13]  Kramer A, Schwebke I, Kampf G. How long do nosocomial pathogens persist on inanimate surfaces? A systematic review BMC Infect Dis.2006; 6: 130.
[14]  Onasanya SA.The impact of computer in a developing country like Nigeria.Nigerian J Resea and Produ.2002; 1: 56-78
[15]  Fleming Team. Computer Keyboards in Nursing and patient care. Manag Infect Control.2007; 48: 36-38.
[16]  WHO. Critically Important Antimicrobials for Human Medicine: Categorization for the Development of Risk Management Strategies to contain Antimicrobial Resistance due to Non-Human Antimicrobial Use: report of the second WHO Expert Meeting, Copenhagen. 2007.
[17]  Rutala WA, White MS, Gergen MF, Weber DJ. Bacterial Contamination of Keyboards: Efficacy and Functional Impact of Disinfectants. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2006; 27: 372-377
[18]  Cata˜no JC, Ececheverri IM, Szela C. Bacterial contamination of Clothes and Environmental Items in a Third-Level Hospital in Colombia. Inter Persp Infect Dis. 2012; 5.
[19]   Lu PL, Siu LK, Chen TC, Ling Ma, Chiang WA, Chen YH etal. Methicillin-resistant S.aureus and Acenitobacter baumannii on computer interface surfaces of hospital wards and association with clinical isolates.BMC BMC Infect Dise.2009; 9:164.
[20]  Smith SJ, Knouse MC, Wasser T. Prevalence of Bacterial Pathogens on Physician Handheld Computers. JCOM. 2006; 13(4). 223-226.
[21]  Keerasuntonpong A, Kesornsuk S, Trakulsomboon S,Thamlikitkul V.Computer Keyboards in Patient Care Areas. Siriraj Med J 2005; 57: 380-381.
[22]  Siegmund K, Hübner H, Heidecke CD, Brandenburg R, Rackow K, Benkhai1 H,etal. Are laptop ventilation-blowers a potential source of Nosocomial infections for patients? Krans hyg Inter. 2010; 5: 863-5245.
[23]  Messina G, Quercioli C, Burgassi S, Nistic F, Lupoli A, Nicola N.etal. How many bacteria live on the keyboard of your computer? JAmer Infect Control 2011; 39(7).
[24]  Anderso G, Palombo EA.Microbial contamination of computer keyboards in a university setting. Am J Infect Cont. 2009; 37: 507- 509.
[25]  Srikanth P, Sivasubramanian S, Sudharsanam S, Thangavel G, Jagannathan K. Assessment of Aerobic Bacterial Contamination of Computer Keyboards in a Tropical Setting. JAPI 2012; 60: 18-20.
[26]  Cheesbrough M. District Laboratory Practice in Tropical Countries Part 2 Cambridge. UK: Cambridge University Press; 2005.
[27]  Wayne PA.Performance Standards for Antimicrobial Disk Susceptibility Tests; Approved Standard—Ninth Edition.CLSI document. Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute; 2006.
[28]  Suganya S, Judia SV.Isolation and identification of bacteria from covered and uncovered mobile phones. J enviro.scie 2012; 3:44-54.
[29]  Das A, Kansal R, Asthana AK, Pandey A,Madan M. e- Fomites. Ann.Biolo. Resea.2011; 2:111-115.
[30]  Anjumn MS, Reddy PP, Abbas IR. Microbial contamination of laptop/ keyboards in dental settings. J Public. Heal. Denti. 2011:2(2):4-6.
[31]  Awoleye OM, Ogunkambi DA, Ayo-lawal RO, Adewole GO, Elufisan TO. Techno-Microbial Hazards Associated with CKs: Public Health Risk and Policy Implications. J Info Sci 2012; 2(4): 37-41.
[32]  Anjumn MS, Reddy PP, Abbas IR. Microbial contamination of laptop/ keyboards in dental settings. J Public. Heal. Denti. 2011: 2(2): 4-6.
[33]  Anastasiades P, Pratt TL, Rousseau LH, Steinberg WH and Joubert G, 2009. Staphylococcus aureus on computer mice and keyboards in intensive care units of the universitas academic hospital, Bloemfontein and ICU staff’s knowledge of its hazards and cleaning practices. S Afri J Epidemiol Infect 24 (20: 22-26.
[34]  Chimezie OC, Chukwudi A, Nnaemeka AM, Collins ON, Chinyere EO, Ngozi FA. Bacteriological examination of computer keyboards and mouse devices and their susceptibility patterns to disinfectants. AJM.2013; 4 (1): 9-19.
[35]  Ciragil P, Gul M, Aral M. Bacterial contamination of computers and telephones in a university hospital in Turkey. J Hosp Infect 2006; 62:247-248.
[36]  Fukada T, Iwakiri H, Ozaki M. Anaesthetists’ role in computer keyboard contamination in an operating room. J Hosp Infect 2008; 70: 148-53.
[37]  Ajenifuja, Oluwafewi A, Ajibade VA.Prevalance of parasite Egg and parasites cysts on computers mouse and keyboard. Global Journals Inc.2012; 12(4):2249-4626.
[38]  Trivedi HR, Desai KJ, Trivedi LP, Malek SS, Javdekar TB.Role of Mobile Phone in Spreading Hospital Acquired Infection: A Study in Different Group of Health Care Workers. NJIRM. 2011; 2(3): 61-66.
[39]  De Boer E, Heuvelink AE, 2000. Methods for the detection and isolation of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli. Symp Ser Soc Appl Microbiol, (29): 133-143.
[40]  Fine MJ, Smith MA, Carson CA, 1996. Prognosis and outcomes of patients with communityacquired pneumonia. A meta-analysis JAMA, 275(2): 134-141.
[41]  Tagoe DN, Ansah FK. Computer Keyboard and Mice: Potential Sources of Disease Transmission and Infections. J.Inter.Pub.cHeal 2011; 2(1). Available from: Accessed on Junary 5, 2013.
[42]  Nworie O, Mercy M, Chukwudi A, Oko I, Chukwudum OS, Agah VM, Ekuma UO. Antibiogram of bacteria isolated from automated teller machines within abakaliki metropolis. AJID. 2012; 8 (4), 168-174.
[43]  Albrich WC, Monnet DL, Harbarth S: Antibiotic selection pressure and resistance in Streptococcus pneumoniae and Streptococcus pyogenes. Emerging Infectious Disease 2004, 38: 363-371.