The most dramatic effects of the use of antibiotics are demonstrable in those infections which in the past had been almost invariably fatal. This is well illustrated in cases of bacterial endocarditis, for in this disease recoveries before the antibiotic era were considered to be curiosities (the authenticity of many of them remains in doubt), whereas at present the great majority (from 60 to 80% or even more) of patients whose cases are recognized recover if treated early and properly with antibiotics. The incidence of bacterial endocarditis has probably been reduced by the general use of antibiotics in the treatment or prevention of infections, including those which predispose the body to the disease, directly or indirectly. The only reliable data in this regard, however, are the over-all reduction in the occurrence of this lesion in several large series of autopsies, from an average of about 1.5% prior to 1943 to
Finland M. CURRENT STATUS OF THERAPY IN BACTERIAL ENDOCARDITIS. JAMA. 1958;166(4):364–373. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.62990040007010
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