Computer Keyboards Transmitting More Than Words: A Knowledge Synthesis of Computer Keyboards in Hospitals as a Reservoir for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus Infection

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This work was one of the 2018 Ron de Burger Student Award winners. 

Author: Saarah Hussain, University of Guelph, Master of Public Health


  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a pathogen that leads to a severe staph skin infection and is an emerging public health threat as it is multi-drug resistant


  • MRSA is often a nosocomial or hospital-acquired infection and is prominent around the world; community-acquired infections are also of concern
  • With electronic patient records, computers are frequently used in the hospital and potentially serve as fomites for transmission of pathogens
  • Some hospitals around the world have identified pathogen contamination of their computer keyboards
  • Hands are the main source of pathogen transmission, as cross-contamination occurs from healthcare providers when interacting between patients and computers


  • The results of this review highlight the need for additional research on the role of computer keyboard MRSA contamination in Canadian hospitals, policy changes for hand washing and cleaning practices, and increased surveillance of MRSA infections, using molecular typing of the isolates and establishing a temporal sequence between object contamination and infection rates

The full review is available below.

Publication Date Aug 20, 2018
Posted by NCCEH Aug 20, 2018