Influence of Door Handles on the Proliferation of Microorganisms of Public Health Importance in University of Benin Staff Offices
The aim of this research was to determine the role of door handles in the proliferation of microorganisms in staff offices within University of Benin, Benin City. Isolation and characterization of isolates was carried out using standard methods. The results of this study showed that surfaces of door handles of Plant Biology and Biotechnology, Microbiology and Chemistry Departments had high bacterial count, which ranged from 6.17 ± 0.75 × 104 cfu/cm2 - 7.45 ± 0.67 × 104 cfu/cm2, while Geology, Physics and Adult Education had low counts (3.31 ± 0.64 × 104 cfu/cm2 - 3.55 ± 0.80 × 104 cfu/cm2). The bacterial isolates were: Staphylococcus epidermidis, Citrobacter sp., Escherichia coli, Enterobacter sp., Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella sp., Streptococcus pyogenes, Corynebacterium sp., Bacillus subtilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Proteus vulgaris, while the fungal isolates were Rhizopus sp., Aspergillus niger, Fusarium sp., Penicillium sp. and Mucor sp. The most predominant bacterial isolate was Staphylococcus aureus (25.22%), while Citrobacter sp. (1.74%) was the least. Plasmid profile revealed plasmid fragments in all the bacterial isolates, with most of the isolates, being multi-drug resistant. Results showed that door handles harbor pathogenic organisms. Therefore, everyone is encouraged to have good personal hygiene, use of hand-sanitizers, hand-washing before and after the use of door handles and routine surface disinfection of door handles in order to prevent cross-contamination.