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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 193-196

Microbial contamination of the white coats among preclinical and clinical dental students: A comparative cross-sectional study

1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Sree Sai Dental College and Research Institute, Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Sibar Institute of Dental Sciences, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Siva Pydi
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Sree Sai Dental College and Research Institute, Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2319-5932.159068

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Introduction: White coat is associated with standard of professionalism and care and helps in gaining the trust of their patients. On the other hand, these white coats are known to be potentially contaminated with pathogenic bacteria and there has been always a concern about the risk of transmitting pathogenic bacteria in hospital settings. Aims: The aim was to know the difference in microbial contamination of white coats between preclinical and clinical dental students. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study done on dental students in a dental institution in a South Indian state. Fifty dental students (25 preclinical and 25 clinical) were included. Sterile saline dipped cotton swabs were used to collect samples from predetermined areas. Chi-square test and Mann-Whitney U-test were used to test the significance. SPSS version 20 was used for analysis. Results: Clinical students (16%) had more pathogens on their white coats than preclinical students (8%), whereas nonpathogenic commensals were more in nonclinical students (84%) compared to clinical students. Conclusions: White coats are contaminated by bacteria, but further research should be carried to know the virulence of these bacteria in susceptible individuals.

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