The Use of folic acid as a prophylaxis against COVID-19 among healthcare workers

Document Type : Original Article


1 General Surgery Department, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University

2 Medical Microbiology and Immunology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University

3 Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Biostatistics, National Cancer Institute, Cairo University

4 Department of Clinical and Chemical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University

5 Department of Endemic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Helwan University

6 Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University


Background: Vaccines may be thought of as a reliable intervention to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection. Prophylactic drugs may be a sound alternative. We aimed to assess the use of folic acid to protect against COVID-19 infection. Methods: This randomized controlled study was conducted in an isolation hospital at Cairo University Hospitals on three groups of nurses caring for COVID-19 patients: group I; the control group, group II whose participants received 500 micrograms of folic acid daily, and group III whose participants received 1000 micrograms daily. PCR conversion was tested for the three groups as a primary endpoint. Results: In total, 526 nurse were included. Group I comprised 139 nurse, group II comprised 163 nurse, and group III comprised 224 nurses. The rates of PCR conversion from negative to positive were 4.9% (8/163) in group II and 1.8% in group III (4/224) compared with 14.4% in the control group I (20/139). Statistically significant (p < /em><0.005) and highly statistically significant (p < /em><0.001) differences respectively were found. Conclusions: Prescribing folic acid daily may significantly decrease the risk of COVID-19 infection among exposed healthcare workers.


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