Qualitative evaluation of the antimicrobial efficacy of UV sterilization chambers employed by barbershops in Benin City, Nigeria
Background: Barbershops where men and boys’ hair are cut or shaved, have been implicated in the transmission of pathogens. With this growing concern, barbers are now acquiring and employing UV sterilization chambers to re-assure customers of the safety of their instrument. This study investigated the qualitative efficacy of the UV sterilization chambers employed by selected barbers in Benin City, Nigeria.
Methods: Swab samples of instruments (clippers, combs and brushes) were collected from 30 barbershops randomly selected from 6 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Benin City before and after exposure to UV sterilization chambers employed by each barbershop. Standard microbiology techniques were employed to culture and identify the microbial (bacteria and fungi) isolates.
Results: A total of 15 genera of microorganisms (8 bacteria and 7 fungi) were identified. Three bacterial genera (Staphylococcus sp., Bacillus sp. and Pseudomonas sp.) and 5 fungi genera (Aspergillus sp., Mucor sp., Rhizopus sp., Trichophyton sp. and Penicillium sp) were isolated from sampled instruments at the barbershops in all 6 LGAs. Evaluation of efficacy of the UV sterilization chambers showed that all microbial isolates survived exposure time of 1 min. Antimicrobial efficacy of the UV chamber increases with longer duration (time) of exposure and decreases with the age of UV chambers, with chamber of 5-6 years old being least efficacious.
Conclusion: This study confirms the presence of myriads of microorganisms including pathogenic strains on instruments used in barbershops within Benin City. It is recommended that exposure of 60 mins is the ideal duration for UV sterilization chambers used in barbershops and barbers in Benin City should endeavor to replace their UV chambers after continual use for a period of 3 years.
Keywords: microbes, antimicrobial efficacy, UV sterilization, barbershop, Benin City,