Bacterial contamination of Saudi Arabian paper currency: A report from Al-Kharj

Mohammed Muqtader Ahmed, Farhat Fatima, Mohammad Javed Ansari, Ramadan Al-Shdefat, Mohammad Khalid Anwer, Shahid Jamil, Mutasim Osman Ahmed, Yonus Saeed, Mohammed Noor, Prakash Katakam, Aleemuddin M, Ayesha Farheen


Background: Currency is a public support tool for exchange of commodity and services. It’s prevalent practice for acquiring bread to broast and bath to bed has connected all human being together irrespective of race and occupation. Currency notes along with their denomination values also carry pathogens if contaminated and will act as an agent for infection transference. Therefore the objective of this cross-sectional study was to assess the load microbial pathogens of paper currency collected in selected public places of Al-Kharj, Saudi Arabia.

Methods: Currency notes under study were assessed through microbiological culture, microscopic and biochemical visualization techniques.

Results: The results from this cross-sectional study suggested that lower the currency denominations higher was the microbial contaminations, frequency percentage was lower with higher isolations. Small eateries were the biggest source of contaminated currency from the ten selected centres. Percentage microorganism occurrence for Bacillus sp., Staphylococcus sp., Klebsiella sp. and E. coli was 56.84%, 25.03%, 13.40% and 04.71% respectively in all currency notes under study.

Conclusions: The outcomes of this study revealed that currency notes can be a source for microbe transmission causing infectious diseases represent public health hazards to the community and individuals.

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