MANCHESTER, England, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Microbiologists say the handling of cell phones and the heat they generate make them a breeding ground for tens of thousands of microbes on each square inch.
Researchers found that cell phones can harbor microbes such as Staphylococcus aureus, of which some strains are capable of producing a highly heat-stable protein toxin that causes illness in humans. It is also a close relative of the superbug Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, a type of bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics.
The cell phone can contain more microbes than a toilet seat, the sole of a shoe or a door handle, according to the researchers.
"Mobile phones are stored in bags or pockets, are handled frequently and held close to the face," Joanna Verran, professor of microbiology at Manchester Metropolitan University, told the Daily Mail.
"In other words, they come into contact with more parts of our body and a wider range of bacteria than toilet seats. The phones contained more skin bacteria than any other object. This could be due to the fact that this type of bacteria increase in high temperatures and our phones are perfect for breeding these germs as they are kept warm and cozy in pockets, handbags and briefcases."