Prevention of Bacterial Endocarditis

August 13, 2008

In bacterial endocarditis, complete eradication of the organism causing the disease is necessary. Prolonged therapy with an antibacterial drug is the only way to kill all bacteria that are present in the endocarditis (inner lining of the heart). In instances where bacterial endocarditis may occur such as during surgery, doctors will give you a macrolide antibiotic, such as azithromycin, prior to the procedure to prevent the disease. In general, treatment of bacterial endocarditis is tailored to the type of antibiotic used.

Azithromycin has been recommended by doctors to prevent streptococcal such as congenital heart disease, heart valve surgery, and dental surgery. In a study conducted in Greece, two microorganisms, Streptococcus oralis and Staphylococcus aureas, were taken from blood cultures of patients with bacterial endocarditis. These microorganism samples were, in turn, given to rabbits to induce endocarditis. Rabbits were then given a single IV dose of azithromycin, vancomycin (an antibiotic), or ampicillin (an antibiotic). Results from this study demonstrated that azithromycin was effective in preventing streptococcal endocarditis.

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