Evaluation of Banknote Contamination with Bacteria and Fungi among Falafel Vendors in Ibb City- Yemen

Author's: Abeer Esmail1,2*, Essam Al-Warafi1, Suliaman Hassan1, Shoaib Hatem1, Ameer Badr1, Ibraheem Alzuhiri1, Osama Talabh1, Rasheed Ghaleb1, Abdulrahman Al-Khayat1
Authors' Affiliations
1Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Faculty of Allied Medicine, Aljazeera University, Ibb, Yemen.2Department of medical microbiology, Faculty of Science, Ibb University, 1120 Ibb, Yemen.*Corresponding Author: Abeer Esmail Email:abeer.a.esmail@gmail.com
Article Type: Research Article     Published: Dec. 31, 2020 Pages: Online first
DOI:        Views 152       Downloads 0


Money, either in the form of coins or paper notes is perhaps the most widely handled article by people every day throughout the world. Banknote can be contaminated by droplets during coughing, sneezing, touching with previously contaminated hands or other materials, and placement on a dirty surface. This study aimed to isolate and identify microbial contaminating banknotes among falafel vendors in Ibb city, Yemen. A total of 100 samples of the Yemen currency notes (denomination – 1000, 500, 250, 200,100, and 50 Reals), were randomly collected from (Falafel vendors) in Ibb city. All currency notes were examined for total bacterial count and identification of pathogenic bacteria and fungi. The results showed that all collected samples were contaminated with one or more bacteria and fungi species representing 100% contamination. The maximum total bacterial count that was recovered from banknotes was found to be 240×103 CFU/ml and the minimum was 40×103 CFU/ml. The coliform count ranged from minimum value of 35×103 CFU/ml to maximum value of 171×103 CFU/ml. In this study, the isolated bacteria and fungi were S.aureus (23%), Coagulase Negative Staphylococci (16%), S.pneumoniae (7%), S. pyogenes (2%), B. cereus (18%), L. monocytogenes (3%), E. faecalis (6%), H. influenzae (13%), Salmonella spp (5%) and E.coli (3%), Yeast(10%), Rhizopus (31%), Mucor (24%) and Aspergillus niger (35%).All tested samples in our study were contaminated with many pathogenic and opportunistic bacteria and fungi. This contamination may play a significant role in the transmission of infection. Wrong behaviors in dealing with currency, such as wetting the fingers with saliva or licking them with the tongue while counting currency, may help contaminate them with dangerous microbes. The use of currencies is not limited to specific groups, all people may acquire serious diseases to them in this way, especially with the reduction of sanitary measures such as washing hands after using currencies, which may reduce the risk of infection with pathogenic microbes.


Banknotes contamination, bacteria, transmission of infection, currency.


Esmail, A., Al-Warafi, E., Hassan, S., Hatem, S., Badr, A., Alzuhiri, I., Talabh, O., Ghaleb, R., Al-Khayat, A., 2020. Evaluation of Banknote Contamination with Bacteria and Fungi among Falafel Vendors in Ibb City- Yemen. PSM Microbiol., 5(4): MB-2020-058.