Microbial and parasitic contamination on circulating Pakistani Currency

Afshan Butt, Saira Malik


Background: Fomites are nonliving objects that are capable of imbibing, harboring and spreading infectious microorganisms. Currency notes and coins, as exchangeable fomite, are constantly subjected to contamination. The objective of this study was to determine microbial and parasitic contamination of Pakistani currency thus highlighting the potential of money for spreading pathogens in the Pakistani community.

Methods: In the present study, a total of 81 Pakistani currency notes and coins in circulation were randomly collected from different shopkeepers, vendors, canteen owners and restaurant cashiers in Lahore and analyzed for parasitological, fungal, aerobic and anaerobic microbial analyses by using various microbiological techniques.

Results: The study revealed 92.5% of Pakistani currency to be contaminated with pathological microorganisms. Potential pathogens such as Staphylococcus spp. (48.05%), Streptococuss spp. (3.89%), Micrococcus spp. (5.19%), Bacillus subtilis (11.68%), Corynebacterium spp. (7.79%), Cronobacter sakazakii (2.59%), Burkholderia cepacia (1.29%), Klebsiella pneumoniae (2.59%), Serretia rubideae (1.29%), Bacteriodes spp. (34.46%) and Yeast and Mold (3.89) % respectively were isolated. The parasitological analysis of the currency evinces 13.58% of the samples with parasitic ova and cysts. Predominant ova and cysts of Entamoeba histolytica & Giardia lamblia were identified.

Conclusion: This study indicates that currency notes and coins are excellent fomites that can harbor the microorganisms very well. The current analyses points out towards the unhygienic practices of the people spending money in the form of currency notes and coins. Launching effective and frequent awareness campaigns in the society can help to stop the spread of microorganisms to a greater extent.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.62940/als.v2i4.150


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