Bacterial safety of door handles/knobs in selected public toilets in down town Kampala
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The bacterial safety of door handles/knobs in public toilets is still a major concern and a threat to the public health. Public toilet door handles/knobs serve as active vehicles in the transmission of pathogenic bacteria known to cause both mild and fatal diseases. Door handles/knobs within selected public toilets in Kampala down town more especially around bus terminals, taxi parks and markets were investigated for bacterial contamination. The study aimed at determining or detecting the presence of Escherichia. Coli and fecal pathogens notably salmonella and shigella and the total aerobic bacterial count from the selected public toilet door handles/knobs. A total of 60 samples were collected by swabbing door handles/ knobs and cultured for bacterial growth. Samples were inoculated by streaking on MacConkey and XLD agar and incubated at 370C for 24hours. After growth they were characterized phenotypically and then subjected to standard biochemical tests. The determination of total aerobic bacterial count was done by surface spreading on plate count a gar and counted manually. The study showed out of 60 samples 46(76.7%) bacterial contamination from the toilet door handles/knobs with E. coli obtained at (86.8%), salmonella (11.3%) and shigella (1.9%) from the toilet door handles/knobs. There was a significant difference in the prevalence of E. coli (p= 0.013) and no significant difference in the prevalence of salmonella and shigella. The mean total aerobic bacterial count was obtained at 23.53±20.51CFU/ml from the toilet door handles/knobs and therefore the adequate need for sanitary measures and personal hygiene practices to reduce cross-contamination.