Contamination of Ethiopian paper currency notes from various food handlers with E. coli and antimicrobial resistance test
Contamination rate of Ethiopian paper currency notes handled by various food handlers with E. coli and antimicrobial susceptibility was assessed. A total of 384 Ethiopian Birr (ETB) notes were randomly sampled from meat handlers at butchers, bread and the related food handlers at cafeteria, fruit and vegetables handlers at supermarket, and milk sellers both at open market and dairy station. Fifty control new currencies were also sampled from Commercial Bank of Ethiopia. Both surfaces of the currency were swabbed using wet sterile cotton and overnight incubated in buffered peptone water. A loop full was streaked on eosin methylene blue agar and followed by biochemical test on presumptive E. coli colonies. Randomly selected isolates were exposed to chloramphenicol (C-30μg), neomycin (N-30μg), oxytetracycline (OT- 30μg), polymyxin-B (PB-300IU) and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (SXT-1.25/23.75/μg) susceptibility using disc diffusion techniques. E. coli was not isolated from currency used as control. A total of 288 (75%) currency notes were found carrying E. coli. E. coli prevalence was ranges from 67.2% at open market milk sellers to 87.2% at dairy station milk sellers; from 64.8% on ETB 100 to 82.9% on ETB 1. Differences were not observed in E. coli prevalence on currency notes almost all food handlers (p>0.05). Susceptibility of tested isolates to each chloramphenicol, oxytetracycline and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole was 100%, and to polymyxin-B was 97.3%. High resistance (83.7%) was observed to neomycin. The finding indicates, contaminated food can be a source of E. coli for further contamination of currency which again transfer through various foods ready for consumption.
Keywords: Antimicrobial, E. coli contamination, Food handlers, Public health, Haramaya, Paper currency