keywords: Bacteria, identification, students toothbrushes, University, Wukari
Toothbrushes play a significant role in disease transmission and increase the risk of infection since they can serve as a reservoir for microorganisms. This study was carried out to investigate the presence of bacteria on regularly used toothbrush. One hundred and twenty (120) in-use toothbrushes were used for this study. Sixty (60) pieces each from males and female; with half the number obtained from both the males and females living within the school hostel and males and females living off school campus were examined using standard bacteriological techniques. The results showed a total of six (6) bacteria isolates; Staphylococcus aureus 52%, Streptococcus species 22%, Staphylococcus epidemidis 11%, Pseudomonas aeruginosa 9%, Escherichiacoli 4%, and Klebsiella oxytoca 2% which clearly showed Staphylococcus aureus as the most commonly isolated bacteria from toothbrushes in the localities. The antibiogram of the isolates show that all isolates were susceptible to ciprofloxacin and resistant to augmentin. Other antibiotics (gentamycin, streptomycin, chloramphenicol and ampiclox) has various degree of susceptibility and resistant. Also, the presence of these bacteria in the various toothbrushes samples investigated could have been as a result of exposure to dirty environment, contaminated water or all left over materials from food consumed. In conclusion, the presence and multiplication of the above bacterial in toothbrushes may lead to infection and decaying of teeth and hence lead to smelling mouth and breath. Therefore, whenever there is decaying of teeth or mouth infection, especially one which delays in healing, routine culture should be carried out to determine bacterial associated with such decay and its susceptibility to various antibiotics should also be carried out to determine the choice of antibiotic for treatment. Hence good hygiene and proper care of toothbrushes plus in-cooperation of antimicrobial drugs during mouth wash is advised.