CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Heart valve bacterial infection. Gross specimen of tissue from a heart, showing an infection of the interior of the heart (endocarditis). This usually involves, as here, an infection of a heart valve (white flaps, upper centre and upper left). This is a bacterial infection, which can be a primary infection, or a secondary complication of another disease. The bacteria proliferate in vegetative growths on the inside of the heart. These growths protect the bacteria from immune system responses, so prolonged antibiotic drug therapy is required. Resistant bacteria and late diagnosis can lead to death from heart valve malfunctions and failures.
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