Health Risk Associated with Handling of Contaminated Paper Currencies in Circulation: A review


  • Gosa Girma


Drug resistance, Microbial contamination, Paper currency, Potential health risk.


Paper currencies could be one of the most potential vehicles to transmit diseases amongst the people. The daily transactions have made the paper currency to pass through many hands and pathogens become imposed on them before they are finally deposited in banks. Modern scientific studies have confirmed the presence of various pathogenic bacteria on paper currencies. Amongst others, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella spp., Citrobacter spp., Mycobacterium leprae, Shigella sp., Streptococcus spp., Pseudomonas aeroginosa, Klebsiella spp. and Escherichia coli were the dominant contaminants of paper currency samples. Furthermore, researches have also shown that paper currencies could be contaminated by several fungal pathogens like Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus, Rhizopus spp., Penicillium spp., Candida spp., Trichoderma spp., Trichoderma viride, Alternaria tenuis, A. paraticus, Sporotrichum spp. and  Fusarium spp. Besides, several studies revealed that, paper moneys were also contaminated by parasitic   species of different helminthes that include parasitic nematodes and tapeworm like Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura, Enterobius vermicularis, hookworm, Strongyloides stercoralis, and Dipylidium caninum.  Therefore, paper currency is generally contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms and this contamination may play a significant role in the transmission of potentially harmful microorganisms that are resistant to commonly used antibiotics and therefore represents risks and public health hazards to the community and individuals handling paper currencies. So, there needs frequent awareness development efforts to improve the poor hygienic practices being exercised while handling paper currencies.


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How to Cite

Girma, G. (2014). Health Risk Associated with Handling of Contaminated Paper Currencies in Circulation: A review. American Scientific Research Journal for Engineering, Technology, and Sciences, 10(1), 40–53. Retrieved from