Most U.S. dollar bills are bacteria farms, according to a recent study in Ohio. Paper money could be one of the mediums that transports antibiotic-resistant bacteria from one person to another.
Peter Ender, chief of infectious diseases at the Wright-Patterson Medical Center near Dayton, along with his fellow researchers, collected 68 dollar bills from a grocery store and a gym. They soaked the bills in a nutrient broth and left them for 24 hours. Next, they smeared samples of the broth onto glass slides for analysis.
?There were a fair number of plates that were just clogged with an overgrowth of bacteria,? says researcher Theodore Pope. The team identified 93 species of bacteria. 94 percent of the bills carried pathogens with the potential to cause disease, especially in people with impaired immune systems.
The bacteria that causes pneumonia and the bacteria responsible for food poisoning were both living happily on 7 percent of the bills.
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