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Recovery of staphylococci from computer keyboards in a veterinary medical centre and the effect of routine cleaning
  1. J. B. Bender, DVM, MS1,
  2. E. Schiffman, MA2,
  3. L. Hiber, BS, AAS, CVT3,
  4. L. Gerads, AAS, BS, CVT3 and
  5. K. Olsen4
  1. Veterinary Public Health, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN 55108, USA
  2. School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN 55108, USA
  3. Veterinary Medical Center, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN 55108, USA
  4. Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN 55108, USA
  1. E-mail for correspondence bende002{at}

Computers play a vital role in veterinary clinics for grading, examining results, updating records, giving discharge instructions and maintaining billing information. Few studies have documented the degree of contamination or practical methods to disinfect computer equipment within the veterinary clinic setting. The intent of the present study was to characterise the frequency of recovery of Staphylococcus species from computer keyboards from a veterinary teaching hospital setting and to evaluate the effect of daily cleaning. From three keyboards in a treatment area, three in a dermatology area and one in office 70 environmental samples were cultured for Staphylococcus. As an indirect measure to assess cleanliness, samples were collected and tested using the 3M Clean–Trace Luminometer (relative light units [RLU]). Of the 25 Staphylococcus recovered 13 were Staphylococcus species, seven Staphylococcus pseudintermedius, four Staphylococcus aureus and one mixed colony of both Staphylococcus species and S pseudintermedius. The median RLU was 2098 (range 132 to 11,590). Routine cleaning decreased the recovering of Staphylococcus and the RLU values. In summary, the study results demonstrate the value of routine cleaning of keyboards and the need for on-going and regular education of staff and students about good hand hygiene.

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  • Provenance not commissioned; externally peer reviewed

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