Isolation of Fungi and Gram Negative Bacteria from Toothbrushes and Bathroom Bioaerosols

Rommie Lucia Merino-Alado, Alessandra Garcés, Elisa Chianale, Carlos Corcuera, Wanda El Fakih, Dolly Galviz, Lizbeth Ortiz, Alfredo Sucre Campins, Gustavo Moronta, Elsi Briceño, Maria Eugenia Landaeta, Sofia Mata-Essayag


Objective: To identify, using phenotypic methods, FGNB, NFGNB and Candida sp. in toothbrushes, and environmental samples of bathroom air in a group of students from the Dentistry School of the Universidad Central de Venezuela. Material and Methods: Thirty-four toothbrushes were supplied to the cohort during a 60-day period; environmental samples were collected in the rooms where toothbrushes were kept during this period. All samples were processed by traditional methods of microbiological counting isolation and phenotypic identification using selective and differential agar based on the international guidelines of the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) 38. Results: 82.36% of the toothbrush samples were positive to bacteria and fungi and 91.17% of the environmental samples were positive to enterobacteria. Conclusion: It is necessary to establish antiseptic protocols for the management, storage and disinfection of toothbrushes. The high rate of contamination may represent an opportunity for enterobacteria colonization of oral biofilms, reservoir to infection foci and metastatic infections in certain populations.


Toothbrushing; Gram-Negative Bacteria; Enterobacteriaceae

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