Isolation of cultivable microorganisms from Polish notes and coins

Michał Kalita, Marta Palusińska-Szysz, Anna Turska-Szewczuk, Sylwia Wdowiak-Wróbel, Teresa Urbanik-Sypniewska
Pol J Microbiol
2013; 62 (3):
ICID: 1072793
Article type: Original article
IC™ Value: 10.00
Abstract provided by Publisher
The potential role of currency in the spread of pathogenic microflora was evaluated in many countries. In this study Polish paper notes and the coins in general circulation were assayed for the presence of the cultivable bacteria and fungi. Bacterial isolates identification was based on cultural and biochemical characters and by comparison of the 16S rRNA gene sequence. Fungal isolates were recognized with biochemical and morphological criteria. Coagulase-negative staphylococci, (43.6% of the total bacterial count) including Staphylococcus saprophyticus, S. epidermidis, and S. hominis, and Enteroccus spp. (30.8% of the total bacterial count), i.e. E. faecalis, E. faecium and E. durans, were the most numerous bacterial contamination. Penicillium and Aspergillus were the most frequently detected moulds whereas Candida was the most frequent yeast isolated from currency. A visible dependence between the banknote denomination, the physical condition of paper currency, and the number of bacteria and fungi was found. The overall count of bacteria isolated from currency was thousand-fold higher than that of fungal isolates. The total amount of bacteria and fungi recovered from the coins was approximately 2.7-fold lower than that isolated from the notes.
In summary, the Polish currency notes were found to be contaminated mainly with commensal bacteria and fungi while the opportunistic pathogenic microorganisms Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas stutzeri and C. albicans were detected at a low frequency.

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