Prevention of infective endocarditis in developing countries - justifiable caution?

S Afr Med J. 2012 Jun 28;102(8):652-4. doi: 10.7196/samj.5688.


The internationally accepted practice of prescribing prophylactic antibiotics to individuals at risk of infective endocarditis has come under scrutiny. There are no published high-quality randomised controlled trials of the intervention, but new insights have emerged. Bacteraemic episodes are common following simple activities such as brushing teeth. Endocarditis following procedures is extremely rare, and systematic reviews of the evidence for prophylactic antibiotics have failed to demonstrate efficacy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis*
  • Developing Countries*
  • Endocarditis / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Models, Economic
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Risk Factors