Abstract
FUNGAL ISOLATES ASSOCIATED WITH NAIRA CURRENCY NOTES OBTAINED FROM SOUTH EASTERN NIGERIA

Anyaoha V. I.*, Oyeka C. A., Udemezue O. I. and Umeh O. R.

ABSTRACT

Money is the most widely used and sought-after financial instrument on planet earth. Currency notes move from one user to the other, and concomitantly have the potential to serve as vehicles of disease transmission; consequently, could be said to pose a public health risk. The aim of this research is to evaluate Nigerian currency denominations from end users in Anambra State as potential sources of agents of fungal infections. A total of 120 mutilated currency denominations (N 5, N 10, N 20, N 50, N100, N 200, N 500 and N 1000) were collected from end users within the study area using random, stratified and cluster sampling techniques, while mint notes obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) served as control. Fungi were isolated from the notes and identified using standard routine microbiological procedures and molecular typing of some choice isolates was carried out using Gene sequencing. Two fungal isolates were chosen for further studies on the basis of novelty. Statistical analysis was carried out using analysis of Variance and mean partitioning was performed using Tukey test. One hundred naira notes had the highest total viable counts of 8.50 x 102 cfu/ml while #5 notes had the least frequency of 1.10 x 102cfu/ml. The fungal isolates include Penicillium citrinium, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus terrus, Mucor hiemalis, Rhizopus stolonifer, Chaetomium indicum, Gymnacella hyalinospora, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and Candida spp. These findings thus suggest that currency notes are indeed carriers of fungal pathogens.

Keywords: Penicillium citrinium, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus terrus, Mucor hiemalis.


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