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16.03.2016 | Original Article | Ausgabe 1/2017

Clinical Oral Investigations 1/2017

Microbial contamination in intraoral phosphor storage plates: the dilemma

Clinical Oral Investigations > Ausgabe 1/2017
Tricia Murielly Pereira Andrade de Souza, Ricardo Dias de Castro, Laís César de Vasconcelos, Andréa dos Anjos Pontual, Flávia Maria de Moraes Ramos Perez, Maria Luiza dos Anjos Pontual



The aims of this study were to evaluate microbial contamination in phosphor storage plates in dental radiology services and discuss the possible origin of this contamination.

Materials and methods

The sample comprised 50 phosphor plates: 14 plates from service A, 30 from service B, and 6 in the control group, consisting of plates never used. Damp sterile swabs were rubbed on the phosphor plates, and then transferred to tests tubes containing sterile saline solution. Serial dilutions were made, and then inoculated in triplicate on Mueller Hinton agar plates and incubated at 37 °C/48 h, before counting the colony-forming units (CFU). The samples were also seeded in brain-heart infusion medium to confirm contamination by turbidity of the culture medium. All solutions, turbid and clean, were seeded in selective and non-selective media.


At service A and B, 50 and 73.3 % of the phosphor plates were contaminated, respectively. This contamination was mainly due to bacteria of the genus Staphylococcus. CFU counts ranged from 26.4 to 80.0 CFU/plate.


Most of the phosphor plates evaluated shown to be contaminated, mainly by Staphylococcus ssp. Quantitatively, this contamination occurred at low levels, possibly arising from handling of the plates. The use of a second plastic barrier may have diminished contamination by microorganisms from the oral cavity.

Clinical relevance

There is a risk of cross-contamination by phosphor storage plates used in dental radiology services.

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