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Infective endocarditis is a serious condition characterised by colonisation or invasion of the heart valves or the mural endocardium by a microbiological agent. Vegetations form containing fibrin, platelets and micro-organisms which seed into the circulation causing persistent fever, non-specific systemic symptoms, murmurs and emboli. Normal, abnormal or prosthetic valves may be involved. The most common presentation is a sub-acute bacterial endocarditis.