MANHATTAN - An old adage tells people to "put your money where your mouth is." Well, you really shouldn't.
A recent study has identified 3,000 types of bacteria on $1 bills from a Manhattan bank, according to ABC News. The study conducted by New York University's Center for Genomics and Systems Biology showed that most of the bacteria found on the money matched microbes found on the skin, but others matched the bacteria found in mouths and even vaginas.
"We are finding viable bacteria that can be taken from paper currency," lead investigator Jane Carlton told ABC News. "That means that money could function as a form of transmission."
The study was conducted as part of a project to identify bacteria and health trends in New York City. The study also found the presence of pneumonia on paper money was higher during winter months. Researchers said the study suggests money can contribute to the spread of illnesses.
The most common microbes found on the money were linked to mild conditions such as acne, but some of the bills had bacteria containing antibiotic-resistant genes. However, the NYU biologists said there is no reason to overreact and that bacteria are a natural part of our everyday environment.