Ninety-nine patients treated with penicillin G potassium, cephalothin sodium, or vancomycin hydrochloride were studied to evaluate single-drug therapy for nonenterococcal streptococcal endocarditis. Eighty-six patients survived; of these, 66 received penicillin alone. The maximum serum bactericidal titer obtained at the expected nadir of serum antibiotic concentration was 1:8 or greater in 70 (95%) of the 74 patients studied. No relapse occurred among the 66 patients treated with penicillin. Only one patient experienced a relapse that occurred following therapy with suboptimal doses of vancomycin. Distinct second episodes of endocarditis occurred in five patients. While 13 patients died, none died of intractable infection. The treatment of endocarditis due to penicillin-susceptible streptococci with high-dose parenteral penicillin or a bactericidal penicillin substitute for four weeks or longer results in bacteriologic cure rates comparable with those achieved with combined penicillin-streptomycin regimens.
(JAMA 241:1801-1806, 1979)