MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Martin H. Thornhill MBBS, BDS, PhD, MSc, FDSRCS(Edin), FDSRCSI, FDSRCS(Eng)
Professor of Translational Research in Dentistry
Academic Unit of Oral & Maxillofacial Medicine Surgery & Pathology,
University of Sheffield School of Clinical Dentistry
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Infective endocarditis is an infection of the heart valves that has a high death rate (around 30% in the first year). It requires intensive treatment often involving replacement of affected heart valves and frequently results in serious long-term illness and disability in those who survive as well as an increased risk of re-infection and high healthcare costs.
In ~40% of cases, bacteria from the mouth are implicated as the causal organism. Because of this, guideline committees around the world recommended that all those at risk of infective endocarditis should receive antibiotic prophylaxis before undergoing invasive dental procedures. Due to a lack of evidence for efficacy, however, guideline committees started to limit the use of antibiotic prophylaxis. And in 2007, the American Heart Association (AHA) guideline committee recommended that antibiotic prophylaxis should continue for those at high-risk but should cease for those at moderate risk of endocarditis. Most guideline countries around the world followed suite. Except in the UK, where the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommended that the use of antibiotic prophylaxis should completely stop in 2008.