Fungal flora associated with indian and foreign coins and their potential health risks
Flora fúngica asociada a las monedas indias y extranjeras y sus posibles riesgos para la salud
Keywords:Currency Coins, Indian, Foreign, Aspergillus niger, Fusarium, Chaetomium, Penicillium
Potential role of spread of pathogenic microflora on coins and currency notes has been evaluated in different countries. Notes and currency coins may serve as universal vehicles for transmission of potentially pathogenic microorganisms among persons either directly, through hand to hand contact, or indirectly, through water and food. The Purpose of study was to do qualitative and quantitative analysis of microflora associated with new and old Indian and foreign coins.
Results of the study revealed that bacteria were present in most of the coins, more than 40% coins showed presence of fungi like Aspergillus niger, Curvularia lunata, Chaetomium globosum, Fusarium roseum and Trichoderma viride. Fungal species like Aspergillus niger and Fusarium roseum can cause bronchial diseases and may act as potential allergens and few of these are reported to cause skin problems. The use of digital transaction will reduce such harmful transmission of pathogenic microbes. Cleaning the coins with water or UV treatment may reduce the fungal load. But it has to be practised at regular intervals. Total 100 coins were screened of which 20 were foreign coins. Isolation from these coins resulted into 20 cultures and 6 non-sporulating mycelial forms. Oldest coins was 141 years and new coin was of the year 2015. Uncirculated Indian coin of 2003 was also tested for fungal occurrence.