D Tagoe, S Baidoo, I Dadzie, D Ahator
bacillus species, bacterial species, coagulase negative staphylococci, contamination, currency, denomination., ghana cedi
D Tagoe, S Baidoo, I Dadzie, D Ahator. A study of Bacterial Contamination of Ghanaian Currency Notes in Circulation. The Internet Journal of Microbiology. 2009 Volume 8 Number 2.
The study aimed at determining the presence, type and nature of bacterial contamination of Ghanaian currency notes in circulation. One hundred currency notes of different denominations were randomly collected from sellers on the major streets and markets of the Cape Coast Metropolis into sterile paper bags, shaken in universal bottles with 10ml sterile buffered peptone water, removed and the resulting peptone water incubated overnight and later sub-cultured onto Blood agar, MacConkey, Cysteine Lactose Electrolyte Deficient (CLED) and incubated at 370C for 24hours. Colonial Morphology, Gram Reactions and Biochemical tests were used for identification of isolates. All 100 samples collected were contaminated with one or more bacteria representing 100% contamination. A total of 107 bacteria isolates were obtained from the 100 samples made up of 13 different bacteria species. Bacteria isolated from the notes include
The possibility that currency notes might act as environmental vehicles or formites for the transmission of potential microorganism was suggested in the 1970s (Abrams & Waterman, 1972). The use of paper currency for every type of commerce is hard on the currency, with the lower-denomination notes receiving the most handling because they are exchanged frequently (Gadsby, 1998; Ogbu and Uneke, 2007). These means money which may get contaminated during production, storage, after production, and during use are always in circulation (Hugo
Numerous research on currency in several countries indicated bacterial contamination. A study by Hosen
Material and Methods
Samples and Sampling: The study samples were collected based on the level of usage and thus circulation. This was made up of 40 One Ghana Cedi notes (GH¢ 1), 25 Five Ghana Cedi notes (GH¢ 5), 20 Ten Ghana Cedi notes (GH¢ 10), 10 Twenty Ghana Cedi (GH¢ 20) notes and 5 Fifty Ghana Cedi notes (GH¢ 50) collected randomly from sellers on the major streets and markets of the Cape Coast Metropolis into sterile paper bags between September, 2009 to March, 2010 and transported to the Laboratory of the Department of Laboratory Technology, University of Cape Coast for bacteriological analysis on the same day. Four currency notes of each denomination and not in circulation obtained from the Central Bank were used as control samples.
Culture and Isolation of Bacteria: Each currency note was aseptically transferred into individual universal bottles containing 10 ml of sterile buffered peptone water and the bottle vigorously shaken for 2 minutes. The currency is removed and the resulting peptone water solution served as a test sample and incubated for 24hours at of 37oC. The incubated test sample was then cultured onto Blood agar, MacConkey and Cysteine Lactose Electrolyte Deficient (CLED). The plates were incubated aerobically overnight in an incubator at 370C. Pure cultures were obtained by sub-culturing distinct colonies. Control samples underwent the same processes.
Identification of Isolates: Pure isolated colonies were identified using their Morphology, Gram reaction as well as biochemical techniques such as the Indole Catalase, Coagulase, Oxidase, Urease, Catalase test and Triple sugar iron tests (sugar fermentation and gas production).
Statistical Analysis: Data from study was analyzed descriptively using SPSS 16.0 software.
All 100 samples analysed were contaminated with various species of bacterial representing 100% contamination (Table: 1). A total of 107 bacterial isolates were obtained from the 100 samples analysed whilst all 20 samples not in circulation were negative for any bacterial isolate. Bacteria isolated from the notes were
Bacterial, Viral, Fungal and Parasitic contamination of various currencies all over the world has been confirmed by several researchers such as Khin
Bacteria isolated from the currency notes include
Scientific information on the contamination of the Ghanaian currency notes, the Ghana Cedi (GH¢), by microbial agents since its introduction in July 2007 is absent (Bank of Ghana, 2007). This study has determined the presence, type and nature of bacterial contamination of Ghanaian currency notes in circulation and will serve as a yard-stick to subsequent research work on other contamination parameters.
We recognized the invaluable contributions of the technical staff of the Department of Laboratory Technology in bringing this manuscript into fruition.