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A treatment for banknotes against viruses, bacteria and fungi

Introduction / objectives

Banknote paper was treated in order to prevent growth of micro organisms and consequently limit risks of contamination during handling.


The Biogardè paper substrate was treated by impregnation with patented harmless active compounds. Antibacterial activity against Eschericha coli and Staphylococcus aureus was determined using ISO 20743 (transfer method) standard, antifungal activity using AATCC 30 (part III) against Aspergillus niger and antiviral activity using EN 1447666+A1 standard against H1H1 influenza A virus. Biocompatibility was assessed according to ISO 10993 standard with a skin irritation study in the rabbit and a sensitization study in the guinea pig.


Antibacterial activity: no CFU was observed for both species after 24 hours of incubation. In these conditions the bacteria could not grow on the paper and were even killed. Antifungal activity: no growth on the surface paper was observed after 7 days of incubation. Aspergillus niger development was totally inhibited.

Antiviral activity: the reduction rate of viral titre was greater than 4 (4.15) showing that the paper had a strong virucidal activity against H1N1 influenza A virus after a contact time of 1 hour.


Banknotes are one of the most frequently-handled documents in the world. Most bacteria and fungi can survive a very long time on this kind of support. Even some virus can survive in specific environmental conditions. Moreover, it has been shown that banknotes can contribute to the transmission of pathogenic germs. The antimicrobial properties of Biogardè banknote treatment could be an innovative approach in infection control and contribute to preventing cross contaminations.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Renaud, F., Rosset, H. & Vast, N. A treatment for banknotes against viruses, bacteria and fungi. BMC Proc 5 (Suppl 6), O37 (2011).

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