Infective endocarditis (IE) is an uncommon and severe disease. Nowadays, in developed countries, IE patients are older, usually have a degenerative heart valve disease, and up to 30% acquire this infection within the health care system. In consequence, staphylococci species are the most frequently isolated microorganisms. Antimicrobial treatment for IE has significantly changed over the last decades. In IE episodes due to Staphylococcus aureus, cloxacillin-resistance makes antimicrobial election more difficult. Other microorganisms, such as enterococci and some species of streptococci, show high rates of resistance to antimicrobial agents established in guidelines. Despite improvements in the diagnosis, and medical and surgical treatment of IE, this disease continues to be associated with high rates of in-hospital mortality. At present, due to epidemiological changes, antimicrobial prophylaxis can avoid few cases of IE. Prevention of nosocomial bacteremia, an early diagnosis of IE, prompt identification of IE patients at a higher risk of mortality, and a multidisciplinary approach of this disease could be valid strategies in order to improve the outcome of these patients.© 2011 Elsevier España, S.L. All rights reserved.
- Health care
- Risk factors