In collaboration with European Pharmaceutical Manufacturing (EPM), Wickham Laboratories Ltd recently performed a study examining the bioburden of the new £5 polymer notes. A British £5 note is exchanged hundreds of times during its lifespan and there are multiple opportunities for the note to become contaminated with bacteria. The move from paper to polymer £5 notes was made due to the latter being seen as safer, stronger and cleaner. Our study on these polymer notes investigated the level of contamination and identified which microorganisms were present on the notes after several weeks of handling in real life conditions.

The results of the study show a lower presence of bacteria compared to the paper notes and we isolated similar types of gram positive bacteria from each of the nine £5 notes that were tested.

An article referencing this study was published by EPM and its’ sister publication Medical Plastics News on January 18 and is available online. If you would like to read more about how the study was conducted and see the full results, please visit the Resource Centre on our website.

Company overview

As a GMP/GLP compliant laboratory with over 50 years of experience, Wickham Laboratories Ltd is an established name in the fields of pharmaceutical and medical device contract testing, research and consultancy. We conduct business with clients worldwide and the combined expertise of our laboratory technicians and managers enables us to be fully conversant with global regulatory expectations.

We are committed to providing a quality testing service, combining high levels of client satisfaction together with the maintenance of appropriate accreditation. This and the continual pursuit of delivering excellence remain central to our business.

We are routinely inspected by the MHRA, FDA and Home Office, and offer the opportunity for clients to conduct audits on a regular basis.

For more information about Wickham Laboratories Limited and our services, please contact us at +44 (0)1329 226600 or To directly request a company brochure, please visit the Brochure section of our company website.