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Evaluation of disinfectants in order to eliminate fungal contamination in computer keyboards of an integrated health center in Piauí, Brazil


This quantitative and qualitative study aimed to evaluate the level of fungal contamination in computer keyboards from an Integrated Health Center (IHC) at Piauí, Brazil, and to evaluate the efficacy of 50% sodium bicarbonate and 50% alcoholic vinegar solutions to eliminate these microorganisms. Ten keyboards from six sectors of the IHC were chosen randomly, and the collection was performed in three situations: (i) before of disinfection, (ii) after disinfection with solution of sodium bicarbonate, and (iii) after disinfection with solution of alcoholic vinegar. Samples were inoculated in Petri dishes with dextrose agar potato plus chloramphenicol and incubated at room temperature for 72 h. All keyboards were contaminated with opportunistic fungi, with Cladosporium cladosporioides (29.4%) being the most frequent species, followed by Curvularia lunata (17.6%) and Aspergillus niger, Alternaria alternata, and Curvularia clavata with 11.8% each. The two solutions were proven to be efficient in eliminating fungal contamination; however, the sodium bicarbonate solution caused esthetic damages in keyboards. In addition, this study is the first report of the antifungal activity of alcoholic vinegar in filamentous fungi. Based on our findings, we suggest a daily disinfection of keyboards with a 50% vinegar solution plus adequate hygiene from the hands of professionals before and after the use of the computer and its annexes, as key actions to reduce nosocomial infections, particularly in economically disadvantaged countries.

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Correspondence to Mitra Mobin.

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Nepomuceno, D.B., Lima, D.V., Silva, M.O. et al. Evaluation of disinfectants in order to eliminate fungal contamination in computer keyboards of an integrated health center in Piauí, Brazil. Environ Monit Assess 190, 608 (2018).

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  • Fungi
  • Cross infection
  • Infection control
  • Disinfection
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar