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Brazilian Journal of Microbiology
On-line version ISSN 1678-4405
COUTINHO, Flavia Paiva; CAVALCANTI, Marilene da Silva and CORDEIRO NETO, Francisco. Isolation of filamentous fungi from public telephones of the Metropolitan region of the city of Recife, PE, Brazil. Braz. J. Microbiol. [online]. 2007, vol.38, n.2, pp. 324-329. ISSN 1678-4405. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-83822007000200027.
Fungi can inhabit our organism without causing any harm, but they show themselves when the immunological system is compromised. In this study, a survey of the occurrence of filamentous fungi was carried out in public telephones of the Metropolitan Region of the City of Recife, PE, Brazil. This showed the public phones as a possible mean of transmission of fungal diseases among humans. Samples from the environment, audios, speakers and keyboards were taken at the airport, mall, subway and bus station in the months of October/2003 (dry season) and June/2004 (rainy season), totaling 120 samples. The procedure of identification of species was carried out through conventional taxonomy. Thirty-four genera were isolated, totaling 73 species, the majority belonging to the anamorphic fungi (91.78%), followed by the Ascomycota (6.85%) and the Zygomycota (1.37%). There was no significant difference in the proportion of species between the dry and rainy seasons, with 46 and 53 species identified, respectively. Due to the lack of maintenance, or inadequate cleaning of public telephones, the fungi present in these appliances may cause mycosis in the users as these telephones are used by people from different social classes and variable habits, both healthy and immunocompromised.
Keywords : filamentous fungi; mycosis; public telephones.