Thousands of infectious bacteria has been found on paper money according to a recent study. ABC news reported that a Manhattan bank had 3,000 types of bacteria found on their money alone.
The findings were discovered by the New York University’s Dirty Money Project. They analyzed genetic material on one dollar bills under a microscope, thanks to money being passed from one hand to the next.
One of the study’s author’s, Dr. Peter Ender said, “One-dollar bills are widely used and each is exchanged many times. If some are contaminated with bacteria, there is potential to spread these organisms from person to person.”
They identified only 20 percent of non-human DNA on the bills and found that most of the bacteria detected was associated with mild conditions. Those minor possible conditions included acne and more serious ones included pneumonia.
Researchers at the New York University’s Center for Genomics and Systems Biology found superbug methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which is antibiotic resistant. Paper money could reportedly play a huge role in the spread of bacteria that causes pneumonia.
Other species found were linked to food poisoning, gastric ulcers, and staph infections. The study that shows a detailed assessment of how dangerous paper money is has yet to be officially published. Reportedly microbes grow on money and hygienist have had a long concern that currency could be contagious.
“Microbes are so important, are very ubiquitous and they surround us all the time,” said director of genome sequencing at the Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, Jane Carlton to ABC News. “We did find certain microbes that we might be a little concerned about, but that doesn’t mean that people should be unduly concerned.”