Investigating microbial transfer on desktop keyboard


Computers have been known to play a role in the spread of nosocomial infections, whether they are used in medical or non medical facilities, as they are known to harbour microorganisms. Microorganisms in the home, offices and in health facilities are deactivated using surface cleaners and disinfectants. An investigation is carried out to study the transfer of microorganisms such as Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter and Enterococcus on computer keyboards, and the efficacy of disinfectants against them. Computers in high traffic areas in a university were sampled, and the appropriate swabbing procedures were carried out. A selective medium was used to inoculate the samples for 47 hours at 370C after which they were examined for the growth of microorganisms, The Students T- test procedure was used to analyze the data, and the findings were compared against available literature.


            Microorganisms include bacteria, fungi, plankton, and some algae, which are single celled organisms, only visible under a microscope. Some of these microorganisms are beneficial to plants and animals, but others can cause harm and diseases. Beneficial microorganisms include those responsible for breaking down organic materials, eliminating toxins and aiding in the digestive function in both man and animals. The harmful microorganisms produce toxins which harm and damage the host’s body cells and also cause disease in the host (Dodrill et al., 2011).  Contact with microorganisms is unavoidable, and disinfecting public environments, such as in the university, may not significantly reduce the risk infection due to microorganism contamination. Fomites are objects or materials that can carry and transfer infectious microorganisms from one person to another. In the medical environment, common fomites include skin cells, hair, clothing and bedding materials (World Health Organization, 2001). In offices and educational environments, fomites include keyboards, telephones, touch screens, door handles and water taps, among others. Such surfaces act as reservoirs and transmitters of disease (Gillespie et. al., 2012). This study is carried out to investigate the presence of microorganisms in university keyboards, and to test the efficacy of antimicrobial agents against these microbes.

Literature Review

            The use of cash dispensers and computer keyboards contaminated by microorganisms has been linked to the spread of disease in many institutions (Mirlei et al., 2013; Ashgar and El-Said, 2012). Thorough disinfection of shared surfaces has been shown to be effective against cross- contamination in both the private and public settings (Rutala et al., 2006; Biddle, 2009). The use of disinfectants is beneficial in cleaning surfaces as it removes and deactivates the microorganisms. The effectiveness of disinfectants against microorganisms has already been studied and work by Decker and Slawson (2012) shows that nosocomial pathogens, if not disinfected, could remain on surfaces and act as a source of contamination.

            The type of surface has been found to play a role in cross-contamination of microorganisms, with non- porous surfaces transferring more microbes than porous surfaces do. Research is being carried out to develop hydrophobic liquid infused polymers that have potential to inhibit biofilm formation, though their effectiveness against all bacteria is yet to be improved (Li et al., 2013). Computer keyboards are possible sources of cross- contamination as they are dry objects which are shared among many people and can act as reservoirs for bacteria. Previous work has documented the ability of computers to act as fomites in the hospital environment, and their role in harbouring microorganisms is well known (Anderson & Palombo, 2009). Computers are extensively used in the universities, where they have developed on campus multiple user computers to accommodate the demand. This has increased the availability of multiple- user computers in universities, and they are handled by a large number of people on a daily basis. As these computers are not disinfected on a routine basis, they present a great potential for acting as reservoirs for potentially pathogenic bacteria, and transmitting them among the computer users.

            In order to create strategies for effective disease prevention, it is important that potential microbial reservoirs, such as computer keyboards, which are known to harbour Staphylococcus aureus and are a course of cross infection (Sharpe and Schmidt, 2011), are identified.  Previous studies found that about 8%- 42% of keyboards in American Universities were contaminated by MRSA (Boa and Rahube, 2013), which is a potential health hazard if they are not properly disinfected. The efficacy of common keyboard cleaning agents was tested by (Rutala et. al., (2006) who concluded that disinfectants were effective in decontaminating the keyboards. It was recommended that the disinfection is carried out on a daily basis, or on a need- be- basis, such as when they get soiled or contaminated by blood. It was recorded by Malik and Naeem (2014), who were of the opinion that a single user mouse or keyboard had a lower risk of transmitting microorganisms as compared to a multiple user keyboard. Hospital keyboards have been shown to be significant reservoirs of microbes, transmitting MRSA and acting as reservoirs of staphylococcus species in Canada, the US, and the UK. In school and university keyboards, the mean prevalence rate of MRSA was recorded as being 2% by Kramer et al. (2006). Higher rates of MRSA have been recorded in primary schools as compared to secondary schools and universities which Biddle (2009) suggests could be due to an awareness and improved understanding of hygiene in the older children. It is important that computer keyboards and equipment used communally is sampled to identify and prevent disease outbreaks, and to come up with strategies to prevent the spread of infections such as CA- MRSA.

            The new keyboards designs allow for easy cleaning and disinfection, although large amounts of bacteria are still found on sampling. While researching in a Nigerian veterinary situation, Nwankiti et al. (2012) found   Bacillus subtilus (84%) and Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, S.albus, Streptococcus epidermidis, Diptheroids, Trychophyton species, Aspergilus species, and Candida albicans.  A number of the isolates are associated with dust and skin flora and could easily go away on cleaning. Research is mainly focused on identifying and isolating the pathogens found in keyboards (Rutala et al., 2006) while less focus has been directed towards conducting empirical enquiries on the efficacy of antimicrobial agents. It is important that the endurance of bacteria and the efficacy of the antimicrobial products used against them are tested. This study is expected to design effective measures for the disinfection of computer keyboards.

Materials and Methodology


Sterile, peptone moistened swabs were used to collect samples from the University Microbiology Laboratory, the Perry Library, Learning Resource Centre, Lecture Rooms, and one personal keyboard.

Culture Media Preparation

            In order to isolate, identify and characterize the samples, growth media including Nutrient agar, Malt agar and Peptone water. Instructions on preparing and weighing the samples were followed, and they were measured and placed in the autoclave to sterilize them. They were later stored in the appropriate place.


A sterile pipette and sterile pipette tips were used to carry out the serial dilutions and to draw out 1ml of the sample solution which was swirl- mixed. Before serial dilutions, each of the bottles contained 9mls of sterile peptone water. The bottles labelled ranged from 10-1 – 10-6 after carrying out serial dilutions. The most concentrated was the 10-1 since it contained samples collected from the keyboard surfaces which were cut and dipped in it.

Spread plating

Quantification of Bacteria:A 100uL pipette was used to transfer 0.1 ml sample solution taken from each serial dilution by clean pipette tips. After collecting six Petri dishes, the solution was streaked in a solid nutrient agar plate ranging between 10⁻1- 10⁻6 by using a sterile pipette. The samples were incubated for 48 hours at 37oC which was dependent on the type of growth in each Petri dish. No control sample was used since the isolation medium was sterilized previously. In each plate, the Colony Forming Units were estimated using the Gallenkomp Model counter. 10-1 – 10-3 serial dilutions were later done since the 10-4 – 10-6 count was too little to count.

Isolation of Organisms: Nutrient agar plates were used to sub culture the pure isolated colonies for 12 hours at 37oC to further isolate and identify the morphology.

Identification of Organisms: Standard procedures were used to perform gram staining and the organisms were observed under a x40 light microscope. Gram positive colonies were seen, which were later identified as Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilus and some yeast. 

Efficacy of disinfectant on known bacteria method

Samples were collected from the MBL, and the personal and lecture room keyboards after which they were swabbed at different days and times and later wiped down with Dettol and Disifin disinfectants. These disinfectants were left to dry and become absorbed for 10 minutes. In order to carry out serial dilutions, the swabs were well prepared. Serial dilutions ranged between 10-1 – 10-3 since 10-4 – 10-6 were too few to count from previous dilutions


Tired of Guidelines or Lack Time to Work on Your Paper, Get Original Custom Research Paper Writing Service

Thecustomwriting.com research paper writing service has saved thousands of students from stressful college life. Writing a custom research paper may be challenging, considering it has to be plagiarism-free. And it is better not to do your project than to hand in plagiarized work or hurriedly complete it if you do not have time.

Academic integrity is so vital that you may get a suspension or an expulsion because of a copy-pasted work. Writing a custom research paper requires research and writing skills to produce original content. Here are essential things to know about getting the best and legit assignments help websites.

Perfection is vital

Every website will promise you that they produce high-quality work. However, you put your money for your end-of-semester paper only to get a pass. You must learn how to identify the best writing service before committing.

Thecustomwriting.com produces quality content at all times. Rather than a quality promise, quality assurance is what you should consider before hiring a research writer. Best writing services are reliable. You don't want to partner with a cheap research paper writing service that will deliver poorly written essays hours after the due date.

Quality writers are part of the best writing service. A company that has untrained writers will fail you. Before committing, ensure that the people who will write your paper are academicians and professionals. It would help if you had a writer who will be prompt to respond to your questions and follow instructions. Writers who do not fear to ask for clarification where they don't understand are the best for you.

Beware of Scammers Posing to Provide Custom Research Paper Writing Service

It may take time and effort to find a legit custom research paper writing service. Most of the websites claiming to offer writing service trades your paper with another student. For example, if you order your paper today to submit it next week, you may find that another student has already handed over the same document.

Your money is gone, you have no paper to submit, and the deadline is in two hours. You can only sit and cook up some stories for your lecturer. Otherwise, wait for a penalty or suspension.

Others will give you half-baked papers in the name of cheap essays. Apart from reselling your paper, some companies will offer you copy-pasted work. If you don't have tools such as Turnitin or Copyscape to check plagiarism, you may find yourself in the dean's office explaining why you copied your work from the internet word-to-word.

We offer one of the best research paper writing services in the USA and the U.K.

You won’t regret choosing Thecustomwriting.com to handle your research. Your project is an essential part of your academic work. It determines whether you will move on to the next semester or if your name will appear on the graduation list. Do not gamble your education by hiring any cheap essay writing website you find on the internet. Look for a custom research paper writing service reviews before commit.

Avoid scandals by hiring Thecustomwriting.com. Count yourself lucky if you are reading this article. You are in the right direction in finding the writing service for your paper. Though many websites could have frustrated you, Thecustomwriting.com is committed to providing you with reliable service for your paper.

Thecustomwriting.com offers quality services at affordable prices, and they deliver your work on time. They have native English writers that write your paper using the correct language.

Plagiarism Free Custom Research Paper Writing Service

Our writers understand the seriousness of writing plagiarized papers. Every institution has regulations that govern how a research project is conducted. Universities and colleges take plagiarism as gross misconduct. The best writing services are those that will deliver plagiarism-free papers.

Plagiarism involves, among others, copying a published work and delivering it to your lecturer as your own without acknowledging the sources.

Another way your work can be plagiarized is the failure to include the source of your content in a research paper. If you are using someone's thought, you need to include a reference and in-text citations to show that you are using another scholars' worker.

It's a gross mistake to write a five-page paper without a single source unless the paper's nature does not require you to rely on any sources. Here are some tips our writers use to avoid accidental plagiarism:

  • Cite direct quotes, statistics, and paraphrased content.
  • Ensure that all in-text citations are included in the biography and vice versa.
  • Directly quoting not more than 2% of the paper, if quoting is necessary (some papers are exempted from this rule, especially literature).
  • Stick to high authority, scholarly sources. Our writers will hardly paraphrase content from third party blogs and other questionable sites.
  • Consider Buying A Custom Research Paper from Thecustomwriting.Com

    Consider hiring an expert essay writer if you are not sure about your capabilities. Referencing and citations can be challenging, especially if you try to do it for the first time. It's even harder when your lecturer asks you to use a hard referencing style. For example, Harvard requires you to include page numbers, dates, and the author's name in the text. If you have several papers with a strict deadline, you should consider hiring a custom research paper writing service to help you work on your essays.

    However, ensure the website you want to hire offers legit writing service. A good website should at least charge for its services. You will find many websites willing to provide you with free services. No one is that idle to sit and write a paper for free. Sites that provide free or cheap services hooks you when you least expect.

    Also, consider the price of writing a paper. Though cheap essays are of low quality, other sites may have inflated prices for their rate, making you needlessly break your bank.

    Thecustomwriting.com understands the need for a fair and reasonable price for most students. We know that most students need service, but they do not have enough resources. We, therefore, offer quality service that you can afford.

    Benefits of using custom research paper writing service

    If this is your first time considering using a custom writing service, the first thing is to know why taking such an action is the best. Choosing Thecustomwriting.com ensures professional writers handle your paper. Letting a qualified person handle your project can boost your grade. You cannot afford to fail in the upcoming end-of-semester project. In any case, your progress to the next level will be determined by how well you perform in your essay.

    Thecustomwriting.com ensures the timely delivery of your work. The good thing about legit essay writers is that they can write your essay within the shortest time possible, with one page taking up to one hour at most. It doesn't matter what time you want your work done: Thecustomwriting.com is always ready for a task.

    We will give you a paper written explicitly for you. We will ensure that your paper is not delivered to someone else.

    Come to think of this; if five of your classmates decide to order an essay for the same class, five writers will be assigned to work on different papers instead of paraphrasing one paper and sending it to five of you.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    Do subject specialist writers handle my research paper?

    It's our responsibility to ensure that someone from your field handles your paper. Our company has enough writers from every discipline. We provide only a research writer qualified in your subject to handle your paper. After placing an order, the first step is to screen the question and requirement and match it with the best writer. The less qualified writer has a college diploma, and they only handle high school papers. All other writers are bachelor, masters, and PhD degree holders.

    Are your researchers qualified enough to know the core of the research?

    We commit to quality content. We understand that failure to deliver quality service will result in the loss of clients. Therefore, we only hire qualified writers who have an in-depth understanding of your paper. Whether you want quantitative research done using Chi-square or qualitative research, Thecustomwriting.com’s writers will comfortably handle any discipline or type of paper. Besides, we offer research paper service from college to PhD. Therefore, we cannot afford to have unqualified writers. Our researchers take every instruction keenly when writing your essay.

    Should I worry about order placement?

    There is nothing to worry about placing your order. Our platform has a simple, user-friendly interface that enables you to navigate to different functionalities with ease. We offer quality custom research paper writing services; thus, you don't have to worry about getting value for your money. Besides, you can track your order's progress. Our system progressively send you email notifications regarding every stage of your orders' progress; thus, you don't even have to log in to track down your order. You will also see the progress on the dashboard when you log in. Moreover, our support team will contact you when the writer needs any clarification.

    Can I have direct communication with the writer after the order placement?

    Our system is designed in such a way that it allows you to communicate with your writer directly. We understand the need to clarify things yourself to the writer. Furthermore, our support team is available 24 hours to ensure that urgent matters are communicated swiftly with the writer.

    Will I get any discount on recommendation?

    The answer is yes. We value your efforts and trust to recommend us to your friends. We will offer you a discount on your next order if a client mentions your email when placing an order.

    What guarantees should customers look for?

    We have a written list of what we guarantee our clients in our terms. We guarantee the quality, confidentiality, free revision, original content, and timely delivery. We also guarantee money-back if, in the unlikely event, you are not happy with the quality of the paper.

    What makes a reliable writing company?

    It's easy to know a reputable company. First, they are transparent about their services. They offer multiple methods of communication and have qualified writers. Most importantly, they deliver your work on time, deliver original content, and honour what they have guaranteed.

    Why should customers not opt for cheap essay writing services?

    Cheap essay services will only waste your time. They have foreign writers who will produce plagiarized content full of grammar errors. You will waste your precious time waiting for a paper that you can't give your lecturer.

    Is buying essays online safe?

    It's safe to buy your essay if you take the right precaution. Before putting your money on a strange site, explore the website to see whether you will get customer reviews. They will help you make the right decision.

    How do I hire someone to write an essay for me?

    These are common questions with most clients. It's effortless to get a professional writer. The first step is to identify a custom research paper writing service that is legit and sign up. After that, they will guide you on how to place your order and get a writer. Some companies will allow you to choose a writer for yourself or choose a writer for you.

    What types of writing services can I order online?

    Our website offers a variety of legit essay services. We provide any academic assistance, including research projects, assignments, and admission letters. Visit our website to see what each service entails.

    What benefits and additional features do Thecustomwriting.com services offer?

    We offer several free services to our customers. We offer free revision, a discount on your first order, and free pages such as references and cover pages. Also, we have a quality control department that ensures that all papers are of high quality before delivering them to you.

    Do websites maintain your privacy? Are orders secured?

    Your privacy is our top priority. You will be recognized by your I.D. assigned to you after signup instead of your name. The only person who can access your account is you or anyone else you give your password. Your payment is through a third party. Therefore, your personal information will never reach our site without your consent.

    What are the pros of ordering from custom writing services?

    You get quality papers. We have writers with decades of experience delivering quality papers worth the client's money and much more. We understand your power to influence our progress. Your paper will be delivered on time and written by professional writers.

    Hire a professional writer

    Now that you know what to look for when considering the custom research paper writing services, it's time to try us. Sign up and get a discount on your first order. You don't have to worry about quality, timely delivery, and price. We know they are essential to you.

    Calculate your order
    Pages (275 words)
    Standard price: $0.00
    Client Reviews
    Our Guarantees
    100% Confidentiality
    Information about customers is confidential and never disclosed to third parties.
    Original Writing
    We complete all papers from scratch. You can get a plagiarism report.
    Timely Delivery
    No missed deadlines – 97% of assignments are completed in time.
    Money Back
    If you're confident that a writer didn't follow your order details, ask for a refund.

    Calculate the price of your order

    You will get a personal manager and a discount.
    We'll send you the first draft for approval by at
    Total price:
    Power up Your Academic Success with the
    Team of Professionals. We’ve Got Your Back.
    Power up Your Study Success with Experts We’ve Got Your Back.