Originating in December 2019 in China, SARS-CoV-2 has emerged as the deadliest pandemic in humankind's history . Along with direct contact and droplet contaminations, the possibility of infections through contaminated surfaces and fomites is investigating . This study aims to assess SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA's prevalence by real-time one-step reverse transcriptase PCR on banknotes circulating in Bangladesh . We also evaluated the persistence of the virus on banknotes spiked with SARS-CoV-2 positive diluted human nasopharyngeal samples . Among the 425 banknote samples collected from different entities , 7.29% (n = 31) were tested positive for targeted genes . Twenty-four positive representative samples were assessed for n gene fragments by conventional PCR and sequenced . All the samples that carry viral RNA belonged to the GR clade, the predominantly circulating clade in Bangladesh . In the stability test, the n gene was detected for up to 72 h on banknotes spiked with nasopharyngeal samples, and CT values increase significantly with time (p <0.05). orf1b gene was observed to be less stable, especially on old banknotes, and usually went beyond detectable limit within 8 to 10 h. The stability of virus RNA well fitted by the Weibull model and concave curve for new banknotes and convex curve for old banknotes revealed . Handling banknotes is unavoidable; hence, these findings imply that proper hygiene practice is needed to limit SARS-CoV-2 transmission through banknotes.
Index: COVID-19, Coronavirus, Currency, Fomite, Pandemic, Transmission