International Journal of Pure and Applied Zoology

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Parasitic Organisms on Nigerian Currency Notes in Ojo Local Government, Lagos, Nigeria

Studies of the potential contamination of currency with parasites have not been given the interest it deserves. A lot has been done on microbial contamination of currency with viruses, bacteria and fungi. We therefore investigated the contamination of Nigerian currency with the eggs and cysts of parasites in Ojo local government, Lagos State, Nigeria. A Total of 100 samples of Nigerian currency (Naira) consisting of 20 pieces of lower denomination (N5-N10) were examined microscopically using the rinse method. The notes were grouped into dirty and dirty/mutilated. 59% were contaminated with the eggs and cysts of parasites. 18 (64.2%) of the dirty notes were contaminated while 41 (54.9%) of the dirty/mutilated notes were contaminated. Eggs and Cysts of five parasites were recovered. Eggs of Ascaris lumbricoides 38.9%, Hookworm 25.4%, Enterobius vermicularis 3.38%, Trichurus trichiura 10.1% and Cyst of Entamoeba histolytica 8.4%. There were also mixed infections (13.5%). Five Naira and Ten Naira notes were the most contaminated (23.7% each) while the least contaminated was N100 (15.2%). Citizens should be educated on ways of handling money through personal hygiene by not abusing, mishandling or mutilating the Naira. People should be encouraged to keep their money in wallets or purses and not on dirty surfaces. The Central bank of Nigeria should put in place and maintain a retrieval system which will ensure that mutilated notes do not remain in circulation for too long.

Author(s): Okwa OO* and Bello SA