Print version ISSN 0123-9392
BETANCUR, Carlos Alberto et al. Paper Currency as Fomite for Bacteria with Human Pathogenic Potential. Infect. [online]. 2010, vol.14, n.2, pp. 120-126. ISSN 0123-9392.
Introduction: Paper currency is one of the articles of highest circulation worldwide. In Colombia, the raw material for its manufacture is 100% cotton fiber, which gives it a porous structure that allows bills to lodge different types of debris and enables microbial colonization of this paper. Aim: Determine the presence of bacterial contamination and its type in bills circulating in the city of Medellin. Materials and methods: Out of convenience, 101 bills were selected for microbiological examination from December 2008 to May 2009. This analysis included the isolation of the bacterial microbiota present on both surfaces of the notes, using the swab technique and performing the taxonomic classification of the isolates obtained. Results: 91.1% of the evaluated bills presented microbial contamination for a total of 124 isolates. The genus most frequently isolated corresponded to Bacillus; it was isolated in 65 cultures (52.4%). 41.9% of the isolates corresponded to bacteria potentially pathogenic to humans, such as coagulase- negative staphylococci (20.2%) and Enterobacteriaceae gram-negative rods (15.3%), Pantoea cloacae being the most frequently isolated species (8.9%). 17.7% of the isolates corresponded to enteric bacteria. Conclusion: Colombian bills can act as fomite for environmental microbiota and bacteria which are potentially pathogenic to people.
Keywords : Paper currency; omite; pathogenic microorganisms.