oa Central African Journal of Medicine - Therapeutic review: Antibiotic prophylaxis for bacterial endocarditis

Volume 36, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



A recent survey of antibiotic prophylaxis found that local practice often differed from that recommended by authoritative bodies such as the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC) and the American Heart Association (AHA). Practitioners found the subject confusing and requested guidance. For these reasons we present current recommendations. Unfortunately all recommendations are based on animal studies and an understanding of the pathogenesis of bacterial endocarditis in humans. There are no controlled trials in humans on which to base guidelines, so rigidity is inappropriate. It is also important to realise that optimal prophylaxis will not eliminate bacterial endocarditis. In developed countries it has been estimated that only 10% of cases of endocarditis are theoretically preventable.

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