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Pathogens on Banknotes Linked to Skin Diseases

16 August 2015 17:27


The currency notes in your wallet could be the carriers of pathogens that may leave you grappling with skin diseases, gastrointestinal infections and even tuberculosis, a research has found.

An average-sized currency note roughly has eukaryotic species such as fungi (70%), bacterial populations (9%) and viruses (1%), according to a research by Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB).
“We identified 78 pathogens, including Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis. Our analysis also suggests a significant diversity in the microbial population on paper currency notes and presence of antibiotic resistance genes,” said S. Ramchandran, principal scientist at the IGIB.
The pathogens on the currency notes can lead to several skin diseases, fungal and gastrointestinal infections, respiratory disorders and even tuberculosis the paper said, according to a report by English-language Indian daily newspaper The Hindu.
Samples were collected in sterile plastic bags from random spots such as street vendors, grocery shops, snack bars, canteen, tea shops, hardware shops, chemists, etc. across the Delhi metropolitan area.
“We are already using plastic money (credit and debit cards) but their use is still not in widespread. One must follow hygienic practices and sanitise hands after handling currency notes to avoid any kind of infection,” Mr. Ramchandran added.

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