Journal of Environmental Treatment Techniques
2018, Volume 6, Issue 3, Pages: 47-52
J. Environ. Treat. Tech.
ISSN: 2309-1185
Journal weblink: http://www.jett.dormaj.com
Occurrence of Pathogenic Bacteria on Public Surfaces
within Community Schools in Abeokuta Environs,
Ogun State
Kehinde Peter Akinrotoye 1*, Mobolaji Oluwafunmilayo Bankole 1, Stephen Oluwole
Akinola 2
1- Department of Microbiology, College of Biosciences, Federal University of Agriculture, P.M.B 2240,110001, Abeokuta, Ogun
State, Nigeria.
2- Department of Pure and Applied Zoology, College of Biosciences, Federal University of Agriculture, P.M.B 2240, 110001,
Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria.
Received: 30/5/2018
Accepted: 06/10/2018
Published: 30/10/2018
Abstract
Bacteria of medical importance abound all around us and are transmitted through different contacts within our community i.e.
schools. To determine the possible role of fomites in dissemination of medically important pathogenic microorganisms, a study
was carried out in public community schools within Abeokuta environs. The prevalence of bacteria was investigated from 300
fomites (door handles), in fifteen randomly selected secondary schools across Abeokuta South, Abeokuta North and Odeda Local
Government Areas. Isolation of different bacteria species was done using standard microbiological methods through the use of
Nutrient agar, MacConkey and blood agar after swabbing the fomites using sterile swabs. Bacteriological examinations revealed
that almost all the fomites had at least one of the following bacteria in each community school; Bacillus subtilis (17.66 %),
Bacillus mycoides (16 %), Bacillus megaterium (12.33 %), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (18 %), Pseudomonas fluorescens (18 %),
Enterobacter sp (16 %), Escherichia coli (19.67 %), Citrobacter freudii (10.33 %), Klebsiella oxytoca (16 %), Staphylococcus
aureus (14 %), and Staphylococcus saprophyticus (7 %) from each Local Government area. The data from this study emphasize
the importance of fomites as potential source of transferring medically important microorganisms such as pathogenic bacteria in
school environments, which may hamper the learning process of the students due to infections/diseases which may arise from
frequent contact with these pathogenic bacteria.
Keywords: Fomites, Pathogenic Bacteria, Community Schools, Public health
1 Introduction1
environment. Bacteria are natural inhabitants of soil and
Bacteria are ubiquitous microorganisms in both outdoor
water and some species behave as opportunistic pathogens
in man; bacteria grow in water systems where there are
and indoor environment [1] and have been identified as
microbial sources of contamination; inanimate objects
dead spaces and parts of the pipework that have low
(fomites) have been shown to play a role in the
circulation contributing to the formation of biofilms.
transmission of human pathogens either directly, by
Pathogenic bacteria serves as agents of varieties of
surface-to-mouth contact, or indirectly, by contamination of
infections; which are a trend and are found much more
fingers and subsequent hand-to-mouth contact
[2-4]. If
frequently as the cause of community acquired infections in
certain physical conditions, such as moisture level,
immunocompromised patients.
temperature and the presence of organic and inorganic
Pathogenic organisms, i.e., viruses, bacteria and
protozoa, may be excreted in large numbers in biological
substrates, are met in a school building/environment,
microbes can easily proliferate. Just as buildings differ, one
substances including blood, mucus, saliva, feces and urine
from another, also Local government areas differ and so do
[5-10]. Some microbes are infectious at very low doses and
can survive for hours to weeks on non-porous surfaces,
bacterial concentrations in their indoor and outdoor
such as countertops, door handles and telephone hand
pieces [11-17]. Fomites are thought to play a role in the
Corresponding author: Kehinde Peter Akinrotoye,
spread of the major outbreaks i.e SARS virus, where they
Department of Microbiology, College of Biosciences,
are known to survive for up to 96 hours on environmental
Federal University of Agriculture, P.M.B
2240,110001,
surfaces and longer in the presence of biological substances
Abeokuta,
Ogun
State,
Nigeria.
E-mail:
[18]. Likewise, contaminated fomites have been implicated
captkennypeter@gmail.com.
47
Journal of Environmental Treatment Techniques
2018, Volume 6, Issue 3, Pages: 47-52
in the persistence of Norovirus outbreaks between guests in
Abeokuta, Nigeria. The samples were collected by
a hotel and on cruise ships [19, 20]. Pathogens are readily
swabbing (sterile swabs moistened with buffered peptone
transferred to hands from contaminated fomites and to the
water) the toilets, offices and the classroom door handles.
mouth from contaminated hands [17, 21] hence putting the
The samples were properly labeled using reference
health of students at risk; if the transfer remain unchecked.
numbers and then transported to the Laboratory using
The aim of this study is to investigate the prevalence of
buffered peptone water transport media (ice pack).
pathogenic bacteria isolated from fomites in selected
Samples were collected from selected secondary
secondary schools within Abeokuta environs; which will
schools in the three Local Government Areas (Odeda LGA,
provides information on the hygienic status of each
Abeokuta South LGA and Abeokuta North LGA) as
community schools within Abeokuta environs and
indicated by the GPS coordinates of each school. Surfaces
identifies the relative importance of surfaces where
sampled from public secondary schools
(n=300), were
exposure rates may be highest and where preventive health
categorized as: Abeokuta South LGA- office doors (27),
measures
(i.e. hand washing following exposure and
classroom doors (33), toilet doors (23), toilet water closet
cleaning) may be targeted. Frequently contacted public
handle
(17), Abeokuta North LGA- office doors
(27),
surfaces from public secondary schools in Abeokuta were
classroom doors (39), toilet doors (21), toilet WC handle
monitored for the occurrence of bacteria of public health
(15); Odeda LGA- office doors (28), classroom doors (35),
importance in the school community.
Toilet (21), Toilet WC handle (16). Highest number of
samples was recorded from the classroom doors and lowest
2 Materials and Methods
from the toilet doors respectively from all the local
Government Areas. All samples were collected during the
2.1 Study site
A cross-sectional study design was used; study site was
summer months (June to July, 2017).
Abeokuta environs. Abeokuta has three local governments
namely; Odeda Local Government, Abeokuta South Local
2.3 Culture of the Samples
Government and Abeokuta North Local Government.
In the laboratory, the samples were suspended into the
Swabs were collected from schools randomly in all the
buffered peptone water solution. The suspensions were
inoculated into blood agar, MacConkey agar and nutrient
three Local Government. GPS tracker was used to
georeference the study sites and obtains their
agar, and plates were incubated at
35°C for 22 hours.
MacConkey agar and Nutrient agar were used to isolate
latitudes/longitude coordinates as shown in Table 1.
microorganisms of public health importance and coliforms
2.2 Sample collection
present in the swabs taken from the selected secondary
schools. These helped in determining the prevalence in
A total of 300 swabs were collected from door handles
of the classrooms, offices, toilets and the toilet water closet
each school in different local government.
handle in randomly selected secondary schools in
Table 1: Sampling/site Location, GPS coordinates and Code for fomites sampled.
GPS Coordinates
S/N
SCHOOLS
Sampling site / area
Code of fomites
(Latitude/Longitude)
1
Lafenwa High School
7.206/3.278
Abeokuta North LGA
OF1, CD1, TD1, TWC1
2
Baptist Boys High School
7.223/3.292
Abeokuta North LGA
OF2, CD2, TD2, TWC2
3
St Peter’s High School
7.183/3.208
Abeokuta North LGA
OF3, CD3, TD3, TWC3
4
Premier Grammar School
7.231/3.168
Abeokuta North LGA
OF4, CD4, TD4, TWC4
5
African Church Grammar School
7.214/3.299
Abeokuta North LGA
OF5, CD5, TD5, TWC5
6
Salawu Abiola Comprehensive High School (Senior)
7.211/3.486
Odeda LGA
OF6, CD6, TD6, TWC6
7
Federal College of Education Grammar School
7.236/3.529
Odeda LGA
OF7, CD7, TD7, TWC7
8
Muslim High School
7.265/3.536
Odeda LGA
OF8, CD8, TD8, TWC8
9
Nasaar-un-deen Grammar School
7.262/3.529
Odeda LGA
OF9, CD9, TD9, TWC9
10
Salawu Abiola Comprehensive High School (Junior)
7.280/3.582
Odeda LGA
OF10, CD10, TD1,0 TWC10
11
St John’s Anglican School
7.136/3.355
Abeokuta South LGA
OF11, CD11, TD11, TWC11
12
Abeokuta Grammar School
7.143/3.375
Abeokuta South LGA
OF12, CD12, TD12, TWC12
13
Egba Comprehensive High School
7.171/3.372
Abeokuta South LGA
OF13, CD13, TD13, TWC13
14
Baptist Girls Grammar School
7.147/3.366
Abeokuta South LGA
OF14, CD14, TD14, TWC14
15
Lantoro High School
7.163/3.361
Abeokuta South LGA
OF15, CD15, TD15, TWC15
Key: OF= Office doors, CD= Classroom doors, TD= Toilet doors, TWC= Toilet water closet
2.4 Biochemical Identification
with the Bergeys Manual of Determinative Bacteriology
The bacteria isolates were subjected to standard
(1994).
microbiological methods such as morphological
characteristics of the colony (shape, size, elevation, surface,
2.5 Statistical Analysis
margin, color, odor, and pigmentation) and Gram staining
Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social
to differentiate Gram negative and positive bacteria.
Sciences (SPSS) version 17.0 for Windows (SPSS, Chicago
Biochemical tests including catalase, oxidase, citrate
IL, and U.S.A).
utilization, Voges-Proskaeur, and methyl-red was carried
out on the isolates
[22-23]. The morphological and
biochemical characteristic of the isolates was compared
48
Journal of Environmental Treatment Techniques
2018, Volume 6, Issue 3, Pages: 47-52
2.6 Ethical approval
3.1 Prevalence of identified bacteria species
Ethical clearance for the study was obtained from both
Figure one, two and three shows the prevalence of
State Ministry for Health & Education (HPRS/381/125);
bacteria isolate per fomites obtained from the three Local
Ogun State and Ethical Review Committee from College of
Government Areas. E. coli had the highest prevalence from
Biosciences (COLBIOS), FUNAAB.
the toilet WC handle sampled from all 3 LGAs; other
prevalence rate include Bacillus subtilis (17.66 %), Bacillus
3 Results and Discussion
mycoides
(16
%), Bacillus megaterium
(12.33
%),
Bacterial
isolates
from the sample were
Pseudomonas
aeruginosa
(18
%), Pseudomonas
morphologically and biochemically identified; bacteria
fluorescens (18 %), Enterobacter spp (16 %), Escherichia
identified include Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus mycoides,
coli (19.67 %), Citrobacter freudii (10.33 %), Klebsiella
oxytoca
(16
%), Staphylococcus aureus
(14
%), and
Bacillus
megaterium,
Pseudomonas aeruginosa,
Staphylococcus saprophyticus (7 %).
Pseudomonas fluorescens, Enterobacter sp, Escherichia
coli,
Citrobacter
freudii,
Klebsiella
oxytoca,
Staphylococcus aureus, and Staphylococcus saprophyticus
Toilet WC Handle
Classroom Doors
(Table 2). The distribution of the bacteria isolates among
Office Doors
Toilet Doors
the swab samples of the three Local Government Areas
150.15%
shows that the swab samples of fomites taken from
Abeokuta North, Abeokuta South and Odeda Local
100.15%
Government Areas have identical bacteria species.
50.15%
Toilet WC Handle
Classroom Doors
0.15%
Office Doors
Toilet Doors
150.15%
100.15%
50.15%
Figure 3: Prevalence of Bacteria per fomites in Abeokuta
0.15%
South Local Government Area of Abeokuta Environs.
The results of the present study revealed contamination
-50.15%
of almost all the fomites collected from selected
community schools within Abeokuta with different
microorganisms which are significantly higher. Medically
important microorganisms were isolated from external
surfaces of fomites (door handles), the difference being
Figure 1: Prevalence of Bacteria per fomites in Odeda
statistically significant (P <0.05); which include Bacillus
Local Government Area of Abeokuta Environs
subtilis
(17.66
%), Bacillus mycoides
(16 %), Bacillus
megaterium (12.33 %), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (18 %),
Pseudomonas fluorescens (18 %), Enterobacter sp (16 %),
Toilet WC Handle
Classroom Doors
Escherichia coli (19.67 %), Citrobacter freudii (10.33 %),
Office Doors
Toilet Doors
Klebsiella oxytoca (16 %), Staphylococcus aureus (14 %),
and Staphylococcus saprophyticus (7 %). They were all
150.15%
isolated from fomites such as classroom, office, toilet and
toilet water closet door handles in selected secondary
100.15%
schools within Abeokuta environs (Abeokuta North LGA,
Abeokuta South LGA and Odeda LGA). It has been well
documented that contaminated public surfaces spread
50.15%
infectious doses of pathogens to the mouths of exposed
individuals following handling [21, 24].
0.15%
Isolation of E. coli which had been detected in all
fomites from schools sampled mean that students are
-50.15%
constantly in contact with diarrhoeagenic bacteria which is
on the increase in country [25]; which is as a result of lack
of good sanitary disposal in each school visited. Pathogen
survival on fomites is an important factor in evaluating
Figure 2: Prevalence of Bacteria per fomites in Abeokuta
exposure potential.
North Local Government Area of Abeokuta Environs
49
Journal of Environmental Treatment Techniques
2018, Volume 6, Issue 3, Pages: 47-52
Table 2: General Morphological, biochemical characteristics and probable identity of bacteria isolated from fomites
1
Rod
+
+
+
+
+
-
-
-
+
+
-
+
-
-
NR
+
Bacillus mycoides
2
Rod
+
+
+
+
+
+
-
-
+
-
-
+
-
-
NR
+
Bacillus subtilis
3
Rod
+
+
+
+
+
+
-
-
-
-
-
+
-
-
NR
+
Bacillus megaterium
4
Rod
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
-
+
+
+
-
-
-
+
Citrobacter freudii
6
Rod
-
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
-
-
-
NR
-
-
NR
+
Escherichia coli
7
Rod
+
+
+
+
-
-
-
-
-
+
-
+
-
-
NR
+
Pseudomonas aeruginosa
8
Cocci
+
-
+
+
+
+
NR
+
-
+
-
-
+
+
-
-
+
Staphylococcus saphrophyticus
9
Rod
-
+
+
-
+
+
-
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
NR
+
Pseudomonas fluorescens
10
Rod
-
-
+
+
+
+
-
-
-
+
-
+
-
-
-
+
Klebsiella oxytoca
11
Rod
-
+
+
+
+
+
-
-
-
+
-
+
-
-
-
+
Enterobacter spp
12
Rod
+
+
+
+
+
+
-
-
-
-
-
+
-
-
NR
+
Bacillus megaterium
13
Cocci
+
-
+
+
+
+
NR
+
-
+
+
-
+
+
-
-
+
Coagulase negative Staphylococcus
aureus
Key: NR= No Reaction, + = Positive Reaction,
−= Negative Reaction.
50
Journal of Environmental Treatment Techniques
2018, Volume 6, Issue 3, Pages: 47-52
The results of this study suggest further evaluation of
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Acknowledgement
A.D., Hugo W.B., Ayliffe G.A.J., Editors: Principles
I would like to thank Professor (Mrs.) M.O Bankole for
and practice of disinfection, preservation and
her support and timely advice during the entire research
sterilization, 3rd edition Oxford: Blackwell Science. pp.
period, upon whose shoulder I stood to complete this
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