keywords: Parasite cysts & eggs, Nigerian currency notes, Keffi
Contaminated naira note associated with parasitic pathogen have become of health concern in Nigeria, causing different diseases. Naira notes in circulation in Keffi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State were studied for a period of four months (March-June, 2015) in Zoology Laboratory of Nasarawa State University to ascertain the prevalence of parasites cysts and eggs on Nigerian currency. A total of two hundred (200) samples of Nigeria naira notes consisting of fifty (50) pieces of each naira denomination (5, 10, 20 and 50) only were randomly collected. The notes were collected with hands covered with hand gloves into sterile polythene bags labeled according to their denominations and were conveyed to Zoology Laboratory Nasarawa State University for analysis. The samples were collected from traders, transporters, food vendors, students and some commercial banks in Keffi. Each currency note was swabbed using swab stick and thereafter folded and inserted into a sterile bottle, 10ml of sterile normal saline was poured on each of the sampled notes. The resultant sediment was examined microscopically to discover parasite cysts and eggs (ova), out of the two hundred naira notes examined 40 (20%) were contaminated by cysts and eggs of parasites. The parasites encountered included E. histolytica accounted for 04(02%), G. lamblia 04(02%), A lumbricoides 12(06%) and Hook Worm (Ova) 20(10%). Statistically, using Chi-Square test, there was significant difference between prevalence of the parasites and the naira denominations (p<0.05). Also, there was significant difference between prevalence of the parasites and the collection areas (P<0.05). No contamination was found on the mint naira notes obtained from some of the commercial banks. Hence, it was concluded that the likelihood of contacting infections from cysts and eggs due to contaminated naira notes in transaction is high. There is need for improvement of hygiene amongst the populace to avoid transmission of these parasitic organisms in humans also the cashless system should be highly encouraged and promoted in the country.