Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sexually transmitted Lyme Disease ?

Yesterdays post reminded me of some articles I was reading a while back about the possibility that Lyme Disease could be spread sexually. A conference presentation from 2001 documents the recovery of Lyme spirochetes by PCR in semen samples of previously diagnosed Lyme disease patients. This, of course, does not necessarily mean active infection is transmitted this way. Some documents state that there are no documented cases of sexually transmitted Lyme disease (eg the CDC here and here) whilst others strike a more cautious note:

The CDC position on sexual intra-human Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) transmission is that it does not occur. We find no study that addresses sexual transmission of Bb among humans; conversely, we find no study supporting that it does not occur. Inferential data, however, suggest the possibility of human sexual transfer. The data come from sound veterinary studies, the finding of Bb in human semen and breast milk, and by similarity to Treponema pallidum where sexual transfer is abundantly documented. Our clinical experience strongly suggests that predictable, possibly inevitable Bb transfer between sexually active couples occurs.

From: Lyme disease': ancient engine of an unrecognized borreliosis pandemic?
W. T. Harvey, P. Salvato

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Ariga said...
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