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Aims: The incidence of infectious diseases is still a vital concern in developing countries. Recently, hygienists have focused on the risk of transmitted diseases through currency notes. This study aims at the determination of potential pathogenic microorganisms found on the Congolese Francs currency notes circulating in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Place and Duration of the Study: This study was carried out in Kinshasa city, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo between September 3 and 29, 2019 at the Bacteriology Laboratory of the National Institute for Biomedical Research.
Methods: During this study, 36 currency notes of different denominations have been used for microbiological analysis. Currency notes were collected from vendors of the Central market and currency note dealers at Kintambo Magasin market in Kinshasa. The identification of microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) was performed using gram staining and biochemical analyses. Results: The findings reveal the presence of following microorganisms, namely Bacillus spp, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus spp., Enterobacter spp, Escherichia coli, Serratia spp, Citrobacter spp, Salmonella enteritidis as well as molds on the Congolese currency notes. It should be observed that circulated currency notes in Kinshasa are contaminated by bacteria and fungi. The contamination rate was based on the fact, that money is new, clean or dirty.
Conclusion: Congolese currency notes constitute the potential sources of infectious disease transmission if hygienic conditions are not respected. Molecular studies are required in order to determine the antibiotic resistance gene of these microorganisms. As the population does not know how to store these notes properly, their contamination would eventually become a major public health hazard. Therefore, a need of an awareness of the population in order to apply hygienic rules while handling currency notes. This is for the first time that such a study is being carried out in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
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