Bacterial contaminations of Iraqi Currencies collected from Duhok City, Iraq

Siham Noori Jafer, Halima Hassan Mohammed, Zari Esa Saleh


Background: Paper currency is widely exchanged and because of the high frequency changing from hand to hand, could serve as vehicles for transmission of multi-resistant bacterial pathogens. The aim was to find out bacterial contaminations of Iraqi currencies collected from various communities and their susceptibility to antibiotics at Duhok city, Iraq.

Methods: A total of 302 Iraqi currencies were collected from 8 community populations and analyzed by screened on Blood, Mannitol salt, MacConkey and Chocolate agar followed by the identification of the isolates using standard conventional bacteriological methods. Antibiotic susceptibility testing against fourteen drugs was carried out as per Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) guidelines.

Results: Out of 302 collected samples, 96% showed bacterial contamination, of them 16% had multiple bacterial isolates. A total of 9 different bacterial species were isolated from six Iraqi currencies. Of them, (24.2%) was Bacillus subtillis followed by E. coli (14.6%), S. aureus (13.4%), Micrococcus (13.0%), S. albus (10.6%), P. aeruginosa (10.2%), Klbseiella (9.9%), Proteus (2.5%) and Enterobacter (1.6%).overall isolates exhibited high resistance to vancomycin, erythromycin, ampicillin and cefixime ,while absent or little resistance was against antibiotics like amikacin, gentamicin, ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, azithromycin, ceftriaxone and rifampin.

Conclusion:Study revealed that Iraqi currencies circulating in Duhok city was contaminated with different pathogenic and potential pathogenic bacteria including multi drug resistant strains. So the need to improve health consciousness among people while handling currency is an urgent issue.



Bacterial contamination, Iraqi currencies, Antibiotics resistance

Full Text:



Awodi NO, Nock IH, Aken OI. Prevalence and Public Health Significance of Parasitic Cysts and Eggs on the Nigerian Currency. The Nigerian Journal of Parasitology. 2000;22:137-42.

Yakubu J M, Ehiowemwenguan G, Inetianbor JE. Microorganisms Associated With Mutilated Naira Notes In Benin-City, Nigeria. International Journal of Basic and Applied Science. 2014;3:9-15.

Thiruvengadam S, Shreenidhi KS, Vidhyalakshmi H, Ramya M, Kamala T, Sundararaman TR, Selvi R. A Study of Bacterial Profiling on Coins and Currencies under Circulation and Identifying the Virulence Gene in Chennai (TN). Chem Tech Res. 2014;6(9):4108-14.

Abrams BL, Waterman NG. Dirty money. Journal of American Medical Association. 1972;219:1202-03.

Emikpe BO, Oyero OG. Preliminary Investigation on the Microbial Contamination of Nigerian Currency. International Journal of Tropical Medicine. 2011;2:29-32.

Koneman EW, Allen SD, Janda WM, Schreckenberger PC, Winn WC. Color Atlas and Textbook of Diagnostic Microbiology. Philadelphia, Washington: JB: Lippincott; 1992.

Clinical and Laboratory Standard Institute. Performance standards for antimicrobial susceptibility testing. M100-S16. Wayne, PA: CLSI. 2006.

Abid H S. Bacterial Contamination of Iraqi Paper Currency Notes in Circulation & Resistance of Pathogenic Bacteria to Antibiotics. Iraqi Journal of sciences. 2012;53:81-7.

Abdulla SM. Isolation and Identification of causative agents from some Iraqi Banknote currency. Ibn Al-Haitham Journal for Pure & Appl Sci. 2013;26(1):75-81.

Inaam J.AL-Abbasi. Investigation of bacterial contamination in Iraqi paper currency. Journal of Kerbala University. Scientific. 2010;8:74-82.

Emikpe BO, Oyero OG. Preliminary Investigation on the Microbial Contamination of Nigerian Currency. Int J Trop Med. 2007;2:29-32.

Felgo P, Nkansah M. Bacterial Load on Ghanaian Currency Notes. Afr J Microbiology Research. 2010;4(22):2375-80.

Guerin PJ, Brasher C, Baron E, Mic D, Grimont F, Ryan M, Aavitsland P, Legros D. Shigella dysenteriae serotype 1in West Africa: Intervention Strategy for an Outbreak in Sierra Leone. Lancet. 2003;362:705-6.

Hosen JM, Sarif DI, Rahman MM, Azad MA. Contamination of Coliforms in Different Paper Currency Notes of Bangladesh. Pak J Bio Sci. 2006;9:868-70.

Orukotan AA, Yabaya A. Microbial contamination of naira notes in circulation within Kaduna metropolis. Journal of Medical and Applied Biosciences. 2011;2:20-7.

Oluduro AO, Omoboye OO, Orabiyi RA, Bakare MK, David OM. Antibiotic Resistance and Public Health Perspective of Bacterial Contamination of Nigerian Currency. Advances in Life Science and Technology. 2014;24:4-9.

Tagoe, DN, Baidoo SE, Dadzie I, Ahator D. A study of Bacterial Contamination of Ghanian Currency Notes in Circulation. The Internet J Microbiology. 2014;8(2):64-69.

Pal K, Das NS, Bhattacharya S. Bacteriological profile of Indian currency circulating in a tertiary care hospital in rural Bengal. IJRRMS. 2013;3(2):23-30.

Adegoke R, Anthony A, Anthony I. The in vitro effect of vancomycin on multidrug resistant Staphylococcus aureus from hospital currency notes. African Journal of Microbiology Research. 2011;5(14):1881-7.

Azza SM, Abuelnaga AA, Samy MA, Bakry AS. Bacteriological Assay for the Egyptian Currency Collected from Veterinary Field. International Journal of Microbiological Research. 2014;5(1):48-53.

Tagoe DN, Adams A, Land VG. Antibiotic Resistant Bacterial Contamination of the Ghanaian Currency Note: A Potential Health Problem. J Microbiol Biotech Res. 2011;1(4):37-44.

Dehghani M, Dehghani V, Estakhr J. Survey of Microbial Contamination of Iranian Currency Papers. Research Journal of Pharmaceutical, Biological and Chemical Sciences. 2011;2(3):242-8.