Prevention of infective endocarditis in developing countries - justifiable caution?

Andy Parrish, Breminand Maharaj


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.

Authors' affiliations

Andy Parrish, Department of Internal Medicine, Walter Sisulu University and East London Hospital Complex

Breminand Maharaj, Department of Therapeutics and Medicines Management, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban

Full Text



Prophylaxis; Infective endocarditis; decision making; cost-benefit

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2012;102(8):652-654.

Article History

Date submitted: 2012-01-30
Date published: 2012-06-28

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