Surveillance and tracking of antibiotic resistant bacteria carried on common-use items will help to elucidate the prevalence of antibiotic resistance within communities. Communication of these data will allow healthcare agencies and basic researchers to better plan mechanisms for combatting the problem of antibiotic resistance. During this project, samples were collected from public access computer keyboards and personal cell phones of the faculty, staff, and students at Troy University in Troy, Alabama. From these samples, thirty-eight individual isolates were identified by biochemical testing; one sample could not be identified. Nine distinct organisms were identified to the species level and included both gram positive and gram negative bacteria. Each of the 39 isolates was tested for resistance to 17 antibiotics. Resistance to three β-lactams (ampicillin, oxacillin [methicillin], and penicillin) was most common while overall drug resistance remained low. β-lactam antibiotics are commonly used to treat a wide range of bacterial infections. Oxacillin is one of the “last ditch” antibiotics within the β-lactam family and is used for serious bacterial infections. With the overuse and misuse of antibiotics, drug and multi-drug resistance among commonly encountered bacteria is expected to rise.
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Vol. 84 • No. 3