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Bacterial Contamination of Iranian Paper Currency

Author(s): Mir-Hassan Moosavy | Nassim Shavisi | Keith Warriner | Ehsan Mostafavi

Journal: Iranian Journal of Public Health
ISSN 2251-6085

Volume: 42;
Issue: 9;
Start page: 1067;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Paper Currency | Bacterial Contamination | Iran

Background: Transmission of human pathogens can be occurred via inert objects. Paper currency is a further common contact surface whereby pathogens can be transferred within a population although the significance remains unknown. Hence, the aim of the present study was to investigate microbial populations associated with Iranian paper currency.Methods: This study was carried out by getting 108 samples of the Iranian currency notes (1000, 2000, 5000, 10000, 20000 and 50000 RIALS) from food-related shops that included food service outlets, greengrocery, supermarket, bakery, confectionary and poultry meat retail outlets. All currency notes were examined for total bacterial count and identification of pathogenic bacteria.Results: The average total bacterial count that was recovered from currency notes was found to be 3.27±0.31 colony forming unites. 2000R had the highest total bacterial count, followed by 5000R, 10000R and the lowest in 50000R. In this study, the isolated bacteria recovered were Bacillus cereus (8.33%), E. coli (48.14%), Staphylococcus aureus (28.7%), Salmonella (0.92%), Listeria monocytogenes (0.92%), Yersinia entrocolitica (6.48%). It was revealed that all the pathogens screened for where encountered on currency notes were recovered from one sample. There were no significant (P>0.05) correlations between the carriage of pathogens/fecal indicator bacteria and currency note condition.Conclusion: Our findings demonstrate that Iranian currency notes represent a significant vehicle for human pathogens.
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