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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 107-109

Microbial flora on the white coats of dental health care professionals


1 Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, AB Shetty Memorial Institute of Dental Sciences, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Orthodontics, AB Shetty Memorial Institute of Dental Sciences, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Microbiology, Nitte University, Mangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
P S Murali
Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, AB Shetty Memorial Institute of Dental Sciences, Mangalore, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0976-6944.194238

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Objective: To determine the types of microbial flora present on the white coats of dental healthcare professionals in a Dental Institution and Hospital. Materials and Methods: A total of 100 white coats of dental healthcare professionals were included in the study. An informed consent and questionnaire were taken. A cross-sectional survey was designed with bacterial contamination of white coats in three predetermined areas (chest, pocket, and sleeves). Sterile swabs were moistened with sterile saline. The growth on the plates was determined based on colony morphology, gram-staining, and standard biochemical tests. Chi-square test was used to assess the association among the study variables. Results: Of the total sample, five washed their white coats every day, 60 weekly once, and 35 weekly twice. About 12% of the doctors exchanged their white coats. About 33% of the doctors wore their white coats while eating. Staphylococcus aureus was the most predominant isolate found on the sleeves, and Escherichia coli was found on the pockets. Most of the organisms were seen Gram-positive staphylococci and Gram-negative E. coli. No statistically significant association between the overall presence of microbial flora was observed when compared with different gender, frequency of washings, and practice of exchanging. Conclusions: White coats are a potential source of cross-infection even in dental settings and surroundings. It is therefore recommended that guidelines be prepared for handling and cleaning procedures of white coats.


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