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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 337-341

Assessment of microbial contamination and oral health risks associated with handling of Indian currency notes circulating in Bengaluru city: A cross-sectional survey


Department of Public Health Dentistry, Vydehi Institute of Dental Sciences and Research Centre, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Suvarna V Biradar
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Vydehi Institute of Dental Sciences and Research Centre EPIP # 82, Room No. 9, Whitefield, Bengaluru, Karnataka - 560 066
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2319-5932.165312

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Introduction: Accumulated data obtained over the last 20 years on the microbial status and survival of pathogens on currency notes indicate that this could represent a potential cause of sporadic cases of food borne illness. Objectives: To identify the micro-organisms present on the Indian currency notes and the oral health risks due to microbial contamination of Indian currency notes circulating in Bengaluru city. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted and the Indian currency notes of various denominations (Rs. 10, Rs. 20, Rs. 50, Rs. 100, Rs. 500, and Rs. 1000) were collected from fruit vendors, hawkers, vegetable vendors, bus conductors, railway ticket counters, hotel counters, and butchers. Sample size was determined to be 70 Indian currency notes. Convenience sampling technique was used. Microbiological analysis of the collected currency notes was done. Results: The contamination rate of collected currency notes from the butchers and hawkers were 80% and 60% respectively. Staphylococcus aureus was present on 15 currency notes (21.42%) and was found to be higher in Rs. 10 than in other currency denominations. Streptococcus pyogenes was present on four currency notes (5.714%) of Rs. 10. Conclusion: The Indian currency notes circulating in Bengaluru city were contaminated with pathogenic bacteria. The oral health risks due to microbial contamination of Indian currency notes are acute pharyngitis, peritonsillar or retropharyngeal abscess, mastoiditis, sinusitis, otitis media, mild cellulitis, angular cheilitis, some endodontic infections, osteomyelitis of the jaw, parotitis, and oral mucositis.


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