Recurrent bacterial endocarditis is associated with several risk factors including parenteral drug abuse, past valvular heart disease, and periodontitis. Recurrence rates vary from 2 to 18 percent for a single recurrence, and 1 to 5 percent for two recurrences. An unusual case study of a patient experiencing three episodes of bacterial endocarditis following dental work is described. The episodes occurred at least one year apart and were characterized by biochemically identical strains of Streptococcus mutans.
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