Infective endocarditis is a condition that still carries a high morbidity and mortality rate (20-30%) despite modern antibiotics and surgical treatment. The infection, usually caused by bacteria, invades the innermost lining of the heart and can damage heart valves, connective tissue and the heart chambers themselves. Rapid diagnosis, effective treatment, and prompt recognition of complications are essential to good patient outcome. If untreated, mortality is extremely high. The prevalence of infective endocarditis is between 1.7 and 4 people per 100,000, and is most commonly found in people who have underlying heart disease. Symptoms can be as non-specific as fever, fatigue, weight loss, new rashes (either painful or painless), headaches, backaches, joint pains and confusion; hence the disease remains a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. Effective therapy has become progressively more difficult to achieve because of the proliferation of implanted biomechanical devices and the rise in the number of resistant organisms.

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