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Bacterial endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining (endocardium) of the heart’s chambers or valves. It is usually caused by bacteria from the mouth, intestines, airways, or urinary tract that enter the blood stream and attach to the endocardium. Bacterial endocarditis can permanently damage your heart valves, and may cause heart failure, stroke and abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias). Bacterial endocarditis can be treated with antibiotics. In some cases, heart surgery is needed, most often to replace a damaged valve.
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