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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » lyme transferred by sperm

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Author Topic: lyme transferred by sperm
Richardd9229
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My fiancee has recently descovered that she has probably had lyme for 6 months to a year and because she read in one single source that Lyme "can" possibly be transmitted by sperm she has told her boys who are 23 and 29 that was how she got it. She said she feels that's how she got it. I have had Lyme for 10 years and was treated by a LLMD for 3 years and have never been told by him it was possible or seen ANY indication in all the literature that Lyme can be transmitted by sperm or would have taken precautions (she is past menapause). I don't remember the article or publication that said it but does anyone else think that it is possible or have they seen any publications or research that shows it's possible? Her boys are mad at me thinking I gave it to her and she has decided she got it this way even though we were in PA for months working in the gardens and in a Lyme infested area of eastern Pa at our old place and thats where I got Lyme. I would like to clear this up because I've never heard that Lyme could be transferred this way in all the three years of research I've done. Can anyone help clear this up? Richard D

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Richardd9229

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Keebler
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Richard,

Many here have neuro-lyme and eye problems often go with that. So, I'm breaking up your post so that more can read it and then you'll get more replies.

=============

Original post by Richardd9229 :


My fiancee has recently descovered that she has probably had lyme for 6 months to a year and because she read in one single source that Lyme "can" possibly be transmitted by sperm she has told her boys who are 23 and 29 that was how she got it.


She said she feels that's how she got it.


I have had Lyme for 10 years and was treated by a LLMD for 3 years and have never been told by him it was possible or seen ANY indication in all the literature that Lyme can be transmitted by sperm or would have taken precautions (she is past menapause).


I don't remember the article or publication that said it but does anyone else think that it is possible or have they seen any publications or research that shows it's possible?


Her boys are mad at me thinking I gave it to her and she has decided she got it this way even though we were in PA for months working in the gardens and in a Lyme infested area of eastern Pa at our old place and thats where I got Lyme.


I would like to clear this up because I've never heard that Lyme could be transferred this way in all the three years of research I've done.


Can anyone help clear this up?

Richard D

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Richardd9229

============

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adamm
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While there's no way of knowing for sure, it seems possible, unfortunately.

http://www.canlyme.com/sex.html

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Keebler
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Sorry to hear that you are in this situation. I'm sure it must feel horrible for you.


I don't have citations or links but others may. From what I've read, there are some lyme experts and authors who say that lyme may be able to be transmitted sexually. However, for as many couples who both have lyme there are also many couples where one partner does not.

Some doctors say there is no way. So, there are differing opinions among the experts. And, still one may wonder if some of them are just not opening their eyes to the cases where sexual transmission seemed most likely. I think they do their patients a disservice by not mentioning the possibility.

And, at the time you were treated, the research may not have been published so you your doctor may not have even seen the discussions about that.


What obviously can happen in couples who both contract lyme is that they share activities, live in the same location so they both may have contracted it separately. Some LLMDs treat both partners in a committed relationship.


And . . . lyme can lie dormant for years. I would certainly say the trip to PA would be suspect as a place of possible exposure but Florida has its share of lyme, too. Also consider the time-line of your treatment.

Is it possible to transmit sexually? Some literature does indicate that. Does it always happen? Apparently not.


Can one be certain that it was acquired from sexual contact? No. Can one be certain it was not? No.


I hope you both can find the information you need and the PEACE to move on with what you need to do - not just for treatment - but with your relationship.


There are some LL counselors and the two of you might find that helpful so as to put this into perspective as it will affect your entire relationship if blame is flying around. I really hate to see blame ever land on someone - or for someone to take that upon themselves either.


Her sons need to be included in this healing process, too.


You did not know there was a possibility and she cannot know for sure just how she contracted lyme. Blame has no place here.


With education and awareness of all the possible modes of transmission, hopefully, fewer people will be caught in such circumstances.


Good luck to you both.

-

[ 04-12-2009, 11:03 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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Keebler
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All I could find on PubMed was about ticks themselves passing borrelia sexually (and, yes, they do).


This would just be a start to finding more information about this for people:


http://www.anapsid.org/lyme/std.html


Sexual Transmission of Lyme Disease & Co-Infections

Compiled by Melissa Kaplan


[This seems just like a list of articles. But, you can click onto the article title to connect to the link.]

One of those:

http://www.anapsid.org/lyme/bach.html


Recovery of Lyme spirochetes by PCR in semen samples of previously diagnosed Lyme disease patients


Gregory Bach, DO, International Scientific Conference on Lyme Disease, April 2001


=====================


You can search for threads here at LymeNet where this question has been raised - there may be some good articles in some of these threads:

http://flash.lymenet.org/scripts/ultimatebb.cgi/ubb/search

You searched for keywords: 'sexual' | 50 matches found | Pages: 1 2 3


-

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Tincup
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I always advise people to treat it as a sexually transmitted disease until we have proof either way. It is the "cousin" to syphilis.

I can't see saying it is impossible when we don't have concrete answers.

The health departments stand on it is that is can't be sexually transmitted.

When I asked why... and I asked this years ago... they said...

"Because we don't have a documented cases of that happening."

They also weren't looking at it as a possibility... and still haven't. But that is typical of their slop on Lyme.

This may help?

http://www.samento.com.ec/sciencelib/4lyme/recoveryoflyme.html


http://www.canlyme.com/sex.html

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Tincup
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But then again....

Anyone who walks outside in the state of Pennsylvania is at risk.

In the past several years, from 30,000 to almost 70,000 NEW cases of Lyme a year are happening in Pennsylvania.

And NOT to act like a girl here... or flip around the typical sexist roles...

But if sex is a problem.... she doesn't have to have any if she wants to act like that.

[lol]

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Tincup
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So what... does she want to sue your sperm?

[lol]

Ok. I'll behave.

Sorry!

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www.MarylandLyme.org
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gemofnj
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Richard

Some believe it is transferrable and that is up to the individual.

But as of yet, it has NEVER been clinically proven that it is transferred from one person to another. It is only suspected and believed that it COULD be transferred.

I had lyme and my husband did not get it.

Most spouses/mates frequent the same places and are subjected to the same risks to contracting lyme from the same sources as in family pets, traveling, golfing, wooded environments, etc.

Immune systems are not created equal, therefore one person may fight it off longer than the other.

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Geneal
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While I think it is a possibility,

I think it more likely my husband and I were exposed at different times.

He has known tick attachments.

I don't.

I don't believe I got it from him.

Could be he got it from me. [Eek!]

We definitely don't share the same co-infections.

Hang in there.

Hugs,

Geneal

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sparkle7
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I don't think it can be easily spread through sperm or saliva, tears... It can be passed from a mother to her unborn baby. I still don't know about blood donation. That area is the one I do worry about.

I believe it takes the tick as part of the vector. If you do a search of "tick saliva" you will find references to it as being part of the vector. There are chemicals in the tick saliva that suppress the immune system so the Lyme bacteria can get a foothold in your system. This is science & has been studied.

Lyme has been around since the 1970's. If it were easily spread via sex - many more people would be ill right now. This is just my opinion.

Sorry your fiance is holding you responsible for this. I hope in time she will see it's not something you did intentionally. It's highly probable that she was infected by a tick on her own.

They are very small (like the size of a period on this sentence) & many people don't get bull's eye rashes.

It's good to be careful but I don't think it's likely that she got Lyme from you. My partner does not have Lyme & we've been together for almost 14 years.

I had no idea I had Lyme for 9 of those years. I thought I had fibromyalgia.

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TadichGrill
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Many LLMDs (not all of them) think Lyme disease is spread through sexual transmission. It certainly seems possible. Probably spread easier from men to women because women are on the receiving end of the sperm. I would not rule it out.
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Hoosiers51
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There's no reason for her to blame it on you, because she could have gotten it at least one other way.

There is no way to prove her claim, so she has no business saying where she got it.

Many people on this site never saw the tick that bit them. Pennsylvania is a horrendous place for Lyme and coinfections.

We don't know exactly how it's transmitted.

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disturbedme
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I myself don't totally believe it's sexually transmitted. It could be, but I believe way before anything that it is transmitted by the bite of a tick. It's not as hard as people think it is to get bitten by a tick. Someone can have a tick on them and not even know it because some of them are EXTREMELY tiny. You don't have to go outside or be a garden or woodsy person either. You can get it just walking in your backyard or at the park, etc. Even your pets or a friend or someone who lives with you that was outside could bring a tick or two in the house and it finds you to feed on. I think people are too quick to blame something else because they hate to think it was 'their' fault (which is WASN'T!!!!!)

There are some LLMDs who believe that 80% of the entire population have lyme...but some of the people are asymptomatic or have just a few symptoms -- until a stressor brings the symptoms out completely. And then by that time, the other person is either married or with a partner. And then if one partner is diagnosed with lyme and if the other partner starts showing symptoms as well, they are quick to blame their partner as giving it to them, when it may not be that way at all.

I mean, most of us probably got bit at least once while in our childhood or while we were kids running through our neighborhood through tall grasses and playing in the dirt or mud or sand, playing sports, looking for bugs or reptiles... just being a kid and having no care in the world. The majority of us do this as kids. So I don't think it's such a surprise that a HUGE chunk of the population have lyme.

--------------------
One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.
~ Helen Keller

My Lyme Story

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jarjar
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I asked Dr. C who has had thousands of lyme patients over the years in and out of his office.

He said only about 1 in 100 of his patients with a spouse also have the disease. So you never know if they were both bit or it was sexually transmitted.

Should be comforting for you to tell her this.

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AmyPW8
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I am sorry, but if Lyme is a close cousin to syphilus isn't it likely to also be spread via sexual transmission? If they have found it in semen samples I would say very likely.

Although that doesn't necessarily mean that's how your wife became infected. Especially if you both gardened and lived in an endemic area.

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Diagnosed April 29, 2007.

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jarjar
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I am sorry, since my wife never caught lyme from me, I will take the word of a medical Dr. that has seen thousands of lyme patients versus speculation.
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tcw
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quote:
I am sorry, but if Lyme is a close cousin to syphilus isn't it likely to also be spread via sexual transmission? If they have found it in semen samples I would say very likely.
Lyme really is not a close cousin to T. pallidum, the bacteria that causes syphilis. They are both spirochetes (they have the same shape), but genetically they are very different. T. denticola which is a spirochete that commonly lives inside the human mouth is a much closer cousin.

Syphilis is spread by contact with mucosal membranes - kissing and breastfeeding can spread syphilis, not just sexual contact.

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Dawnee
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My LLMD says absolutely you can get Lyme from sexual intercourse and can keep passing it back and forth. My two youngest children have Lyme disease and they have never had a tick bite. My husband of 10 years just started getting Lyme symptoms 2 years ago and tested positive for Lyme disease.
It makes no sense that Lyme couldn't be transmitted sexually and congenitally just like Syphilis.
And my LLMD has treated thousands of patients also.. WHOLE families.

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disturbedme
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Getting lyme congenitally and sexually is VERY different. There is documented evidence that it is transferred from mother to child in womb, but it is not yet documented or proven that it is transmitted through sexual intercourse yet. I'm not totally believing in that realm yet and won't until there is solid researched evidence that it is. There are many people I know who were/are married for years and never gave their SO lyme... or they are at least not showing symptoms.

--------------------
One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.
~ Helen Keller

My Lyme Story

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Dawnee
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"or at least they are not showing symptoms"

My doctor believes that the reason the spouse does not show symptoms until late, if at all, is because they weren't bitten by the tick. When you are bitten, the tick immediately injects something that confuses your immune system and allows the spirochettes to take over without being attacked by your immune system. That is how people get so sick so fast... their immune system is not attacking the Lyme disease and it becomes descimated.

When your spouse gets Lyme from you.. he/she has the major advantage because there was nothing there to suppress the immune system.

So it really depends, I think, on the spouses immune system function as to weather or not they get sick or not.

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duke77
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quote:
My LLMD says absolutely you can get Lyme from sexual intercourse and can keep passing it back and forth. My two youngest children have Lyme disease and they have never had a tick bite. My husband of 10 years just started getting Lyme symptoms 2 years ago and tested positive for Lyme disease.
It makes no sense that Lyme couldn't be transmitted sexually and congenitally just like Syphilis.
And my LLMD has treated thousands of patients also.. WHOLE families.

My LLMD said he would bet his years salary on the fact Lyme is sexually transmitted. He sees too many people and their spouses sick. He also concludes that they usually have the same bands positive. Common sense really, lyme in sperm along with the advanced factors of the spirochete could easily penetrate the membrane wall and enter the body. I do believe when these people say, oh but my husband doesn't have it, he may not have it yet or he may be doing a good job keeping it at bay.
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Tincup
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Do you know how Dr. Willie Burgdorfer got Lyme disease?

Infected rabbit urine splashed in his eyes when he was doing experiments.

Now tell me it absolutely can't be passed sexually.

[Big Grin]

PS...

Look at #9 on page 746.

http://www.ilads.org/files/harvey.pdf

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glm1111
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My LLMD Dr. B found it in sperm samples and absolutely believes it is sexually transmitted.

If it is found in sperm, it's a no-brainer that it is sexually transmitted.

Also parasites can definitely be sexually transmitted.

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PARASITES/WORMS ARE NOW
RECOGNIZED AS THE NUMBER 1 CO-INFECTION IN LYME DISEASE BY ILADS*

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Queenie Pie
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Hi Richard...When I was being treated by an LLMD Neurologist in CT. a few years back, I asked him if Lyme could be sexually transmitted. He told me that "a man who has Lyme Disease can pass it on to a woman through sexual relations, but, a woman who has Lyme Disease cannot pass it on to a man." Go figure.....He also said that a Mother-to-Be who has Lyme Disease can pass it on to her unborn child....Scarie isn't....Queenie Pie
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KH
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YES it is! I got babesia and lyme from my husband who was bit.
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disturbedme
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Dawnee:

quote:
When you are bitten, the tick immediately injects something that confuses your immune system and allows the spirochettes to take over without being attacked by your immune system. That is how people get so sick so fast... their immune system is not attacking the Lyme disease and it becomes descimated.
Unfortunately, that's not true for everyone. Some people don't get sick right away after being bitten. Sometimes they don't get sick until many years later. I was bit when I was around 14 or so years old and didn't get VERY ill until I was about 23 years old. I had symptoms on and off before that, but nothing to say I was "very sick" -- nothing like how I am now sadly. [shake]

--------------------
One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.
~ Helen Keller

My Lyme Story

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disturbedme
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KH - common, Babesia through sexual intercourse is probably not gonna happen. It's a parasite and much different than the actual lyme spirochete.

Even though I am not sold on the lyme being transmitted sexually, I'd totally bet my money on that before I'd believe co-infections being transmitted that way...

Soooo -- let's think about this again... Most people who start showing symptoms of lyme disease are usually tested and also have one or two co-infections (if not MORE).... wouldn't you most likely say that was due to a tick bite and NOT sexual intercourse?

We know lyme is a spirochete so there's a good chance it is sexually transmitted.... but co-infections? I don't think so. Anyone else? Many times those who have lyme disease only (which is very, very rare) are not as sick as those who have co-infections as well.

--------------------
One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.
~ Helen Keller

My Lyme Story

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sparkle7
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Lyme has been around for over 30 years... why are there no definitive tests about sexual transmission?

One would think that if it were being spread so easily via sex - there would be some definitive evidence. One would also think that Lyme could be spread by kissing, too - if this is the case.

I've had 3 tests for Lyme & none of them were even conclusive that I have it. I have a clinical diagnosis. I just think there's alot about all of this that we don't know.

It's always best to be cautious but we just don't know. It doesn't help to jump to all kinds of conclusions about it.

I recently read that there's a pesticide being using in Southern California that causes people who's parents may have had syphilis - to test positive to syphilis due to exposure to the pesticide...

There's alot of weird things going on with all the pathogens & chemicals we are around each day.

If someone is sick, currently - it's too late to blame someone for it. I don't think Richardd2992 was spreading Lyme intentionally... It's a tricky question & not even the experts are sure.

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duke77
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The same people who are telling us Lyme isn't sexually transmitted, are claiming that the ELISA test is acurate and that Lyme is easily cured with two weeks of Doxy.
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Need Lots of Help
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I say, WHO CARES, you are both sick and you need to be helping each other right now, not trying to place blame.

If it wasn't for my husband, I don't know what I would do.

I asked him, what if I did give lyme disease to you, and he said, Honey, we are in this together it doesn't matter.

I say don't sweat the small things, and compared to having Lyme Disease, whether she got lyme from you or from PA, it just doesn't seem that important now.

What is important is getting treatment and getting better.

Shalome

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TadichGrill
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After Tincup's post and knowing Lyme is found in bodily fluids it seems impossible to me not to be sexually transmitted.

I can understand why people might want to be in denial that Lyme is sexually transmitted because if it is that means they will need to practice safe sex to protect their partner and to make sure Lyme does not get passed back to them again and again.

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sparkle7
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I've been with someone for almost 14 years... before I knew I had Lyme & thought it was fibromyalgia for 9 years.

My partner is not ill... I'm not big on having people think that I am right or anything like that. It's not about being in denial or anything extreme. I don't need for everyone to believe the same this as I do.

I lived in NYC during the beginning of the big AIDS epidemic. Everyone went nuts & thought everyone was going to get AIDS from shaking hands, etc. Or that one person could be a carrier or that you could come in contact with AIDS & not become ill for 30 years... It's not always like that with these illnesses...

From my research - it's all speculation that people can get Lyme from sex. It's possible but I've also read that the Japanese aerosolized a form of spirochete disease that could be sprayed on people back in the 1930's...

So, we may actually be acquiring Lyme via the air... if you really want to worry about it.

There's just not enough known to know if one person should blame their partner for giving them "sexually transmitted" Lyme...

I would be more worried about getting blood or a blood product from a public place like a hospital.

PS - I agree with Need Lots of Help!

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Tincup
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Duke's got the answer!

"The same people who are telling us Lyme isn't sexually transmitted, are claiming that the ELISA test is acurate and that Lyme is easily cured with two weeks of Doxy."

[Big Grin]

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disturbedme
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Unfortunately, ALL of Pennsylvania is full of ticks. It's one of the most lyme endemic states. Very scary. Glad I don't live there anymore. Maryland isn't much better, but there's something about PA that makes me go "blah". And I never enjoy when we have to travel back there to visit his family.

I lived there for around four years and had no idea about lyme during that time. I went camping and walking through the woods and in the grass and had no care in the world. I never saw a tick on me (not like the one I found attached in Kansas) but I'm sure there was a HUGE possibility there was one or two on me that I did not see at some point in time.

What makes it worse is that my husband's family still lives there and there are deer everywhere. Every night/morning you will see many deer walking through the neighborhood, up in their yard, taking over as if they own the place...

And his mother actually puts corn in her yard for them since she claims they aren't able to find food of their own in the winter... [Roll Eyes] I told her that was a VERY BAD idea, but she replied, "Oh, the ticks are dead in the winter." I was like "NOOOOOOOOOOO they are not!" Glad my husband agreed with me and tried to explain it to her.

[ 04-16-2009, 03:45 PM: Message edited by: disturbedme ]

--------------------
One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.
~ Helen Keller

My Lyme Story

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Dawnee
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Sorry DISTURBED...I worded it wrong. I meant to say that is how it spreads through the body so quickly without an immune response (not getting "sick" right away) I also got bitten in Elementary school, and then again in 03. Didn't get VERY sick until 2 yrs ago.
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pmerv
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Jim Miller of UCLA, eminent syphilologist and Lyme expert, has conducted experiments with rabbits where he tried to infect them sexually. He was not able to.

Borrelia burgdorferi evolved with ticks. All sorts of complicated things happen when a tick sucks in Bb. It changes its outer surface proteins, it multiplies in the tick's gut. Tick saliva enhances transmission. It's very complex.

Syphilis did not depend on tick transmission and none of this happens. Syphilis is spread by sexual contact. There is no evidence that Bb is spread - even though occasional spirochetes are found in body fluids. There is no proof that they can be transmitted that way. I know some drs think it is, but they have not proved it yet, and usually in a family, family members are exposed to ticks because they live in the same environment.

I wouldn't make any huge decisions like not breastfeeding a baby for instance, breastfeeding with all its KNOWN benefits, based on such sketchy evidence.

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TadichGrill
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It is a complicated disease which requires more research. We can rule out the transmission requiring a tick's salvia to receive Lyme disease. The moderator of canlyme received Lyme disease from a horse fly bite and so did a member of lymenet.
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METALLlC BLUE
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quote:

My fiancee has recently descovered that she has probably had lyme for 6 months to a year and because she read in one single source that Lyme "can" possibly be transmitted by sperm she has told her boys who are 23 and 29 that was how she got it.

It's one single study that found the bacterium in various fluids. It proves nothing.

quote:

She said she feels that's how she got it. I have had Lyme for 10 years and was treated by a LLMD for 3 years and have never been told by him it was possible or seen ANY indication in all the literature that Lyme can be transmitted by sperm or would have taken precautions (she is past menapause).

If you were still on antibiotics during the time period she's suggesting, it is highly improbable -- extremely improbable -- that the infection would be transmittable (assuming it's sexually transmitted).

quote:

I don't remember the article or publication that said it but does anyone else think that it is possible or have they seen any publications or research that shows it's possible?

There has not been any peer reviewed studies aside from the single study demonstrating it was found in a variety of human fluids.

The "best" specialists in Lyme disease are divided. Some of the extremely competent ones say -- of the record -- that it's transmittable. I'm inclined to believe it is -- though it's unlikely to be highly transmittable, and I would say it's near impossible - exceedingly small fraction of a possibility -- while on appropriate antibiotics.


quote:

Her boys are mad at me thinking I gave it to her and she has decided she got it this way even though we were in PA for months working in the gardens and in a Lyme infested area of eastern Pa at our old place and thats where I got Lyme.

Is this a case of "guilty until proven innocent?" It appears that way. Even if you did transmit it, you're no more to blame than she would be for getting bitten by a tick that she never saw. The fact is, you can't prevent what you don't know.

quote:

I would like to clear this up because I've never heard that Lyme could be transferred this way in all the three years of research I've done. Can anyone help clear this up? Richard D

If she got it recently, she should recover quickly -- so it really doesn't matter. You should assume it's sexually transmittable from this point onward -- since we "don't know." Side on caution when you have inconsistency and disagreement.

--------------------
I am not a physician, so do your own research to confirm any ideas given and then speak with a health care provider you trust.

E-mail: [email protected]

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djf2005
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my wife has it from me.

its the same as syphillis.

not so long ago, they tested for syphillis b4 marriage contracts were issued.

go figure.

put her on abx shell be fine.

lyme is entirely and commonly sexually transmitted.

one more dirty little secret no one want anyone to know.

--------------------
"Experience is not what happens to you; it is what you do with what happens to you."

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AmyPW8
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Ok, Bb has been found in breast milk and seman...and we shouldn't base any conclusions on that alone? Again, I am sorry, but when it comes to people I love, that's more than enough.

--------------------
Amy

Diagnosed April 29, 2007.

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duke77
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quote:
Jim Miller of UCLA, eminent syphilologist and Lyme expert, has conducted experiments with rabbits where he tried to infect them sexually. He was not able to.

I would love to see these studies. First of all its comparing apples to oranges...humans to bunny wabbits. Secondly, I would like to see how long the incubation period was. Thirdly, we all know how **** poor the lyme tests are. Its contradictory really...to say the tests were negative in the bunny wabbits so was my lyme test. Does that mean the wabbit doesn't have Lyme? We can't really be that naive can we?
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METALLlC BLUE
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quote:

I would love to see these studies. First of all its comparing apples to oranges...humans to bunny wabbits. Secondly, I would like to see how long the incubation period was. Thirdly, we all know how **** poor the lyme tests are. Its contradictory really...to say the tests were negative in the bunny wabbits so was my lyme test. Does that mean the wabbit doesn't have Lyme? We can't really be that naive can we?

Most of the testing done on animals that confirms infection is done via culture or PCR. While it's an assumption on my part, I have read an enormous array of studies on Lyme Disease in animals, primates, dogs, horses, mice etc. It is "extremely" difficult to argue against positive culture.

Rabbit's physiology and immune response are very close to that of humans.

I think "How ignorant can we be?" is probably the better question, since we're very ignorant at this time in regards to Lyme Disease and sexual transmission. Further studies need to be done -- meanwhile Dr. Jones as well as other physicians dealing with thousands of patients are confident that it "is" sexually transmitted. Of course there are other Lyme Disease patients who also see thousands of patients and state otherwise.

While proof remains elusive, I would think it would be highly "naive" for patients to ignore the issue when considering being intimate with their partners. It should be a discussion that is taken very seriously and mutually agreed upon -- whether they choose a form of protection or not.

Scientific studies on sexual/fluid transmission:

# ↑ Schmidt B, Aberer E, Stockenhuber C, Klade H, Breier F, Luger A (1995). "Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi DNA by polymerase chain reaction in the urine and breast milk of patients with Lyme borreliosis.". Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis 21 (3): 121-8. PMID 7648832.

# ↑ Bach G (2001). "Recovery of Lyme spirochetes by PCR in semen samples of previously diagnosed Lyme disease patients." (html). 14th International Scientific Conference on Lyme Disease, 2001.

J Clin Microbiol. 1992 July; 30(7): 1646-1653 Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi DNA in urine samples and cerebrospinal fluid samples from patients with early and late Lyme neuroborreliosis by polymerase chain reaction. A M Lebech and K Hansen. Department of Infection-Immunology, Statens Seruminstitut, Copenhagen, Denmark.

128. Kumi-Diaka J., Harris O. Viability of Borrelia burgdorferi in stored semen. Br Vet J 1995; 151(2): 221-224

(Finding living spirochetes or DNA in semen is not proof that it can be "transmitted" but it isn't exact wise to assume - given the price tag of doing so is quite high.)

--------------------
I am not a physician, so do your own research to confirm any ideas given and then speak with a health care provider you trust.

E-mail: [email protected]

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TadichGrill
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I can't imagine thinking taking antibiotics means one is not going to pass Lyme disease to another person either. If I knew someone was taking antibiotics for syphilis and they wanted to have unprotected sex I would definitely not be interested.

If antibiotics alone killed Lyme disease I don't think we would all be reading or posting on this forum anymore.

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METALLlC BLUE
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quote:

I can't imagine thinking taking antibiotics means one is not going to pass Lyme disease to another person either.

I would suspect based on the available evidence and current knowledge of the borrelia b spirochete that you're correct, antibiotics would not gaurantee 100% saftey, but I hyphothesize that they do significantly reduce the risk, and I'll explain why. (Just beware that I could very well be wrong, so no one should base their judgment off my reasoning -- which certainly is based on some assumptions and a lot of ignorance)

quote:

If I knew someone was taking antibiotics for syphilis and they wanted to have unprotected sex I would definitely not be interested.

I agree.

quote:

If antibiotics alone killed Lyme disease I don't think we would all be reading or posting on this forum anymore.

This reasoning doesn't apply, since no one is claiming antibiotics killed Lyme Disease in it's entirety on this website (at least not that I've heard), but I do propose that antibiotics kill the infection to a much higher degree when the infection is exposed to high concentrations of antibiotics in the blood and fluids.

Many physicians who treat Lyme Disease note that using antibiotics substantially decreases the chances (hugely) of a mother passing Lyme Disease onto her fetus. It doesn't guarantee it though, as we've seen mothers still passing it (sometimes).

Lyme Disease is an infection primarily of the nervous system, it is often present only in small amounts in the blood and other fluids once it's an established infection. Hence playing a major role in the persistence of Lyme Disease. Syphilis on the other hand is far more ambitious in it's systemic pathology. Antibiotics flow easily through most "fluids" -- but are poorly absorbed most of the time in bone, collagen tissues, and the nervous system (some are better than others) -- making the disease presumably far harder to transmit via fluids since it's mostly contained to these other areas while strong antibiotics are present.

What we do know highly suggests that transmission is substantially reduced sexually -- if the risk congenitally is reduced via antibiotics

Does it mean the partner will not infect their partner? Absolutely not, that can't be guaranteed, just as congenital transmission can not be, but it's something two partners should consider along with other things -- especially when speaking to their physician.

Syphilis is highly transmittable. Lyme clearly is not, else the rates of transmission among partners anecdotally would be much higher in our community -- but that still doesn't change the relatively small number who do think it's transmittable. (I personally believe, some of them did transmit the infection in some cases, given the thousands of people having sex and doing so many times).

These factors should be considered -- especially among partners who are setting limits on their sexual activity, such as using condoms or other methods of protection.

The use of antibiotics vs no treatment is a debate worth having and worth talking about, even if individual opinions persist.

--------------------
I am not a physician, so do your own research to confirm any ideas given and then speak with a health care provider you trust.

E-mail: [email protected]

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METALLlC BLUE
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Additionally, we know Lyme Disease can convert to other forms, and that it does invade cells, which may protect it in the blood, and fluids, from antibiotics. So, this route of transmission is "potentially and issue."

--------------------
I am not a physician, so do your own research to confirm any ideas given and then speak with a health care provider you trust.

E-mail: [email protected]

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sleepyhiker
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my llmd swears it is passed this way-
we both have it too. i was chronic, she was completely symptom free...

now she has all the same bands and coinfections as me. she's from hawaii- we've been there for 10 years, i'm from upstate NY, where i got this as a kid.

and we just moved to Colorado last month, so its unlikely she got it the same place as me, and she hasn't had time to get it sine we've been here.

Its one thing to catch it from you, but if her attitude is one of blame and whining, then i'd say she has some major growing up to do before i'd marry her!
being with a lymie not easy - it takes a lot of maturity and patience!

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TadichGrill
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MB said "Lyme clearly is not, else the rates of transmission among partners anecdotally would be much higher in our community"

I think it already is high. There are enough couples like sleepyhiker stating they believe it was transmitted through sex that we need to start listening with an open mind.

I know LLMDs see couples and whole families with this disease all the time. It might not always mean they were exposed to the same ticks. I know of one couple with the disease. The woman does not spend much time outdoors at all. Her husband does.

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TadichGrill
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Scroll down on the below link and listen to the audio of Dr. S. on Lyme disease with KTVU


http://www.anapsid.org/lyme/std.html

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METALLlC BLUE
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Here is a little clip from Matt Gross, who talked a little about his position.

quote:

Is it Sexually Transmitted?
This is an area of controversy, and one where little formal study has been done. Some couples who have Lyme swear they gave it to their husband/wife. In other situations, the whole family has Lyme, so it is possible for members of the same family to be infected separately.

How can it be known whether it was passed from one person to another or if both people were infected by a tick bite? After all, many people with Lyme do not remember ever getting bitten by a tick, and it is reasonable to assume that couples could have been infected at the same time while traveling through a tick-infested area.

There has been at least one case where a doctor has found Bb bacteria in semen. However this does not necessarily mean that the disease can be transmitted sexually. The test only proves that the bacteria was present, not whether or not it was alive, or even a whole cell (the different bands on tests identify different parts of the bacteria). And this is an important distinction because as bacteria are killed by antibiotics or the immune system, the dead cells are broken up and filtered out through the kidneys and passed in urine through the urethra, the same path used by semen. It is certain that these dead cells could end up in a semen sample if they are travelling down the same pipe.

The AIDS virus (HIV) is present in saliva but you cannot get AIDS from kissing someone.

And syphilis (another spirochetal bacteria) is no longer contagious after you are successfully treated for the disease, so even if Lyme is sexually transmitted it may be assumed that it is no longer contagious after successful treatment. Especially when you consider that syphilis is much more highly contagious (you can catch it thru kissing). So if Lyme is less contagious (you can't get it from kissing), you would think that if there were no active Lyme infection then it could no longer be spread, even if it were proven to be sexually transmitted.

I have spoken to two doctors (LLMDs) about this, and not surprisingly they each have their own opinion on the subject. They base their opinions on over a decade of seeing hundreds of patients. One said that if Lyme were sexually transmitted he would see a lot more cases where both spouses are infected, and he just isn't seeing that. There would also be a lot more cases from the population at large if Lyme were transmitted easily through sexual intercourse. The other doctor said he believed that it is sexually transmitted, but only when there is an active infection and you are not taking antibiotics. In other words, if you have no symptoms and have finished treatment you are no longer contagious, or if you are taking antibiotics you are not contagious.

I personally do not believe that enough evidence exists to support the idea of sexual transmission of Lyme. After 30 years since this disease was identified I think it would be readily apparent if it were sexually transmitted. Perhaps this is why few studies have been done.

Reference:

http://info.lymebook.com/matthewgoss.html#Is%20it%20Sexually%20Transmitted?

--------------------
I am not a physician, so do your own research to confirm any ideas given and then speak with a health care provider you trust.

E-mail: [email protected]

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TadichGrill
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Isn't Mathew Gross a patient not a doctor? I could be wrong about this and forgive me if I am wrong about him being a patient only.

I prefer to listen to the two LLMDs and one NP that told me they believed it is sexually transmitted. I feel due to lack of current research it is better to be safe than sorry. I read today that babs can hide in cyst form too not that that has anything to do with this discussion I just found it an interesting fact.

http://www.nclyme.org/history4.html

Finally, the issue of transmission of Bb that is not tick-borne must be acknowledged. Regrettably, it is proven that human vertical transmission, i.e. mother to child, exists and is more likely to occur when the mother is infected in the first trimester.

Fortunately, the incidence of transmission is believed to be quite low. Additional risk factors for transmission, which are routinely identified in other models of infection, have not been studied in vertical Bb transmission.

For example, we know nothing about the relative risk or characteristics of intrauterine transmission versus exposure in the birth channel, breast feeding, etc.

However, we recognize that perinatal transmission of Bb can result in a multisytemic illness which can prove fatal, although we do not have evidence for the converse situation, i.e. asymptomatic infection for a prolonged period. Even less well studied is the issue of sexual transmission.

Borrelia species, including Bb, have been found in genital secretions. A close relative of Bb, treponema pallidum, was perhaps, until HIV happened, the most notorious sexually transmitted disease known to man.

Barriers to recognition and diagnosis (see discussions to follow) present major impediments to understanding the epidemiological patterns of Bb. It is of interest that one of our colleagues,

Dr. Bill Harvey in Houston, has begun to study his population of chronic fatigue patients, many of whom have proven to be serologically positive for Bb infection.

In noting various demographic and social characteristics among his patients, he has begun to question whether all Bb infections represent a zoonoses (personal communication).

He considers routine sexual transmission of Bb a distinct possibility, certainly one worthy of a longitudinal study.

Again, such epidemiological information will be virtually impossible to gather without more verifiable means of recognition and diagnosis than are currently available. The implications Dr. Harvey's observation and theory are profound and deserve an assiduous scientific effort.

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METALLlC BLUE
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quote:

Isn't Mathew Gross a patient not a doctor? I could be wrong about this and forgive me if I am wrong about him being a patient only.

He's only a patient.

quote:

I prefer to listen to the two LLMDs and one NP that told me they believed it is sexually transmitted. I feel due to lack of current research it is better to be safe than sorry. I read today that babs can hide in cyst form too not that that has anything to do with this discussion I just found it an interesting fact.

I agree. I think other co-infections can be transmitted too. I've read Dr. Harvey's prior work as well. I used his article during a write up supporting persistent infection (inspite of "adequate" antibiotic treatment).

Dr. Jones says he's very confident that the disease can be sexually transmitted, but that's based on his clinical experience.

--------------------
I am not a physician, so do your own research to confirm any ideas given and then speak with a health care provider you trust.

E-mail: [email protected]

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MY3BOYS
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with out going into the controversy of it i can tell you our findings.

i tx for "lupus" for over 8yr. now tested + for lyme, rmsf, m. pneum., and clinical dx bart/babs on symptoms . this was 8/08 with SEVERE cns stuff. was "atypical MS" until W.B. was CDC + for me. i only make igm on all

hubby finally agreed to testing. just got back month ago or so: WB +, RMSF, bart, m.pnum. on labs

his mom got tested (she is young, early 50's and very bad health with massive MI 3 yrs ago, bad rib pain with visable lumps/knots, and on and on) her labs: RMSF, M. pneu., CMV, EBV - with high titers over last 2 yrs. . dr thought ordered WB but ELISA was done and -.

We are all very diff in symptoms iwht same inf.
mine lots of CNS, hubby only with back pain/insomina with traveling job.thats it. he is pretty much asymptomatic. Then his mom is in bad health, very poor immune system for yrs. and is + iwth Igg responses and mine are all Igm only.
Hubby had a mix.....so .......is possible??

--------------------
i am not a Dr. any info is only for education, suggestion or to think/research. please do not mis-intuprest as diagnostic or prescriptive, only trying to help. **

dx in 08:lyme, rmsf, bart, babs, and m.pneumonia.

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