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Antibiotic prophylaxis for infective endocarditis: a systematic review and meta-analysis
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  • Published on:
    Does antibiotic prophylaxis really prevent streptococci infective endocarditis?
    • Didier Raoult, Pr IHU Méditerranée Infection, Faculté de Médecine et de Pharmacie, Aix-Marseille Université
    • Other Contributors:
      • cédric Abat, Dr

    To the Editor,
    We read with interest the work presented by Cahill et al. [1] in which the authors evaluate the impact of antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent bacteremia and infective endocarditis in patients undergoing dental procedures. The analysis was performed based on 36 studies, including 21 bacteremia studies, five case controls and cohort studies, and 10 time trend studies.
    It is generally well established that dental cares cause bacteremia, and that most are due to streptococcal strains [1,2]. It is, consequently, reasonable to think that prescribing antibiotics before dental cares decreases the incidence of such bacteremia. Globally, the discordant results between the different kinds of studies analyzed in the paper by Cahill et al. [1] are clearly insufficient to conclude that antibiotic prophylaxis prevents bacteremia due to streptococci. In our view, this observation can be explained by the fact that dental care is not the only cause of streptococcal bacteremia. Indeed, such bacteremia are extremely common, and it has been demonstrated that they can occur after chewing and after brushing in patients with periodontitis (cumulatively in 25% and 20% of cases, respectively) [2]. It is, therefore, fairly unlikely that bacteremias due to dental cares are more responsible for endocarditis than other kinds of bacteremias. In practice, this implies that the only reasonable antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent almost every bacteremia due to oral streptococci wou...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.