Priyamadhaba Behera, Binod Kumar Patro, Arvind Kumar Singh, Pradnya Dilip Chandanshive, Ravi Kumar S.R., Somen Kumar Pradhan, Siva Santosh Kumar Pentapati, Gitanjali Batmanabane, Biswa Mohan Padhy, Shakti Bal, Sudipta Ranjan Singh, Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty

doi: doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0247163


Background Ivermectin is one among several potential drugs explored for its therapeutic and preventive role in COVID-19 infection. The study was aimed to explore the association between ivermectin prophylaxis and development of COVID-19 infection among healthcare workers.

Methods A hospital-based matched case-control study was conducted among healthcare workers of AIIMS Bhubaneswar, India, from September to October 2020. Profession, gender, age and date of diagnosis were matched for 186 case-control pairs. Cases and controls were healthcare workers who tested positive and negative, respectively, for COVID-19 by RT-PCR. Exposure was defined as the intake of ivermectin and/or hydroxychloroquine and/or vitamin-C and/or other prophylaxis for COVID-19. Data collection and entry was done in Epicollect5, and analysis was performed using STATA version 13. Conditional logistic regression models were used to describe the associated factors for COVID-19 infection.

Results Ivermectin prophylaxis was taken by 77 controls and 38 cases. Two-dose ivermectin prophylaxis (0.27, 95% CI, 0.15-0.51) was associated with 73% reduction of COVID-19 infection among healthcare workers for the following one month, those who were involved in physical activity (3.06 95% CI, 1.18-7.93) for more than an hour/day were more likely to contract COVID-19 infection. Type of household, COVID duty, single-dose ivermectin prophylaxis, vitamin-C prophylaxis and hydroxychloroquine prophylaxis were not associated with COVID-19 infection.

Conclusion Two-dose ivermectin prophylaxis at a dose of 300 μg/kg with a gap of 72 hours was associated 73% reduction of COVID-19 infection among healthcare workers for the following one-month. Further research is required before its large scale use.

Keywords: ivermectin, India

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