Lyme Disease May Be Sexually Transmitted, Study Suggests

Topics with information and discussion about published studies related to Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases.
TegsPal
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Lyme Disease May Be Sexually Transmitted, Study Suggests

Post by TegsPal » Mon 27 Jan 2014 19:39

http://www.onlineprnews.com/news/454866 ... gests.html
Lyme Disease May Be Sexually Transmitted, Study Suggests

A new study suggests that Lyme disease may be sexually transmitted.

Online PR News – 20-January-2014 –A new study suggests that Lyme disease may be sexually transmitted. The study was presented at the annual Western Regional Meeting of the American Federation for Medical Research, and an abstract of the research was published in the January issue of the Journal of Investigative Medicine.

Lyme disease is a tickborne infection caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, a type of corkscrew-shaped bacteria known as a spirochete (pronounced spiro’keet). The Lyme spirochete resembles the agent of syphilis, long recognized as the epitome of sexually transmitted diseases. Last summer the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that Lyme disease is much more common than previously thought, with over 300,000 new cases diagnosed each year in the United States. That makes Lyme disease almost twice as common as breast cancer and six times more common than HIV/AIDS.

“Our findings will change the way Lyme disease is viewed by doctors and patients,” said Marianne Middelveen, lead author of the study presented in Carmel. “It explains why the disease is more common than one would think if only ticks were involved in transmission.”

The present study was a collaborative effort by an international team of scientists. In addition to Middelveen, a veterinary microbiologist from Canada, researchers included molecular biologists Jennie Burke, Augustin Franco and Yean Wang and dermatologist Peter Mayne from Australia working with molecular biologists Eva Sapi and Cheryl Bandoski, family practitioner Hilary Schlinger and internist Raphael Stricker from theUnited States.

In the study, researchers tested semen samples and vaginal secretions from three groups of patients: control subjects without evidence of Lyme disease, random subjects who tested positive for Lyme disease, and married heterosexual couples engaging in unprotected sex who tested positive for the disease.

As expected, all of the control subjects tested negative for Borrelia burgdorferi in semen samples or vaginal secretions. In contrast, all women with Lyme disease tested positive for Borrelia burgdorferi in vaginal secretions, while about half of the men with Lyme disease tested positive for the Lyme spirochete in semen samples. Furthermore, one of the heterosexual couples with Lyme disease showed identical strains of the Lyme spirochete in their genital secretions.
“The presence of the Lyme spirochete in genital secretions and identical strains in married couples strongly suggests that sexual transmission of the disease occurs,” said Dr. Mayne.

“We don’t yet understand why women with Lyme disease have consistently positive vaginal secretions, whilst semen samples are more variable. Obviously there is more work to be done here.”

Dr. Stricker pointed to the unknown risks of contracting Lyme disease raised by the study.

“There is always some risk of getting Lyme disease from a tickbite in the woods,” he said. “But there may be a bigger risk of getting Lyme disease in the bedroom.”

Reference: The Journal of Investigative Medicine 2014;62:280-281.
Presented at the Western Regional Meeting of the American Federation for Medical Research, Carmel, CA, January 25, 2014.
http://afmr.org/Western/
Additional information: officemanager@usmamed.com

Union Square Medical Associates, San Francisco, CA
Last edited by admin on Thu 30 Jan 2014 23:55, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Added the quote for convenience, searchability and retainability.

admin
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Re: Lyme Disease May Be Sexually Transmitted, Study Suggests

Post by admin » Mon 27 Jan 2014 23:55

Please post more than just a link, especially when its the first post of a topic. When referring to an article one should at least quote the title, date and author's name (if available), but preferable also an explanation, description and/or parts of the text or even the whole text.

ChuckG
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Re: Lyme Disease May Be Sexually Transmitted, Study Suggests

Post by ChuckG » Tue 28 Jan 2014 0:27

From Relative Risk:
http://relative-risk.blogspot.com/2014/ ... to-be.html
Press release, January 25, 2014

Carmel, CA – A new study suggests that Lyme disease may be sexually transmitted.

“Our findings will change the way Lyme disease is viewed by doctors and patients,” said Marianne Middelveen, lead author of the study presented in Carmel. “It explains why the disease is more common than one would think if only ticks were involved in transmission.”

The present study was a collaborative effort by an international team of scientists. In addition to Middelveen, a veterinary microbiologist from Canada, researchers included molecular biologists Jennie Burke, Augustin Franco and Yean Wang and dermatologist Peter Mayne from Australia working with molecular biologists Eva Sapi and Cheryl Bandoski, family practitioner Hilary Schlinger and internist Raphael Stricker from the United States.

Dr. Stricker pointed to the unknown risks of contracting Lyme disease raised by the study. “There is always some risk of getting Lyme disease from a tickbite in the woods,” he said. “But there may be a bigger risk of getting Lyme disease in the bedroom.”
Follow the link and read what Relative Risk has to say about this.

Martian
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Re: Lyme Disease May Be Sexually Transmitted, Study Suggests

Post by Martian » Tue 28 Jan 2014 1:07

The press release (see first post of topic) about the study says:
The study was presented at the annual Western Regional Meeting of the American Federation for Medical Research, and an abstract of the research was published in the January issue of the Journal of Investigative Medicine.

(...)

Reference: http://journals.lww.com/jinvestigativem ... ts.18.aspx
The Journal of Investigative Medicine 2014;62:280-281
Presented at the Western Regional Meeting of the American Federation for Medical Research, Carmel, CA, January 25, 2014.
http://afmr.org/Western/
I could only find the text (abstract) of the actual study on Reddit.

Source: http://www.reddit.com/r/science/comment ... ed/cezah9a
ISOLATION AND DETECTION OF BORRELIA BURGDORFERI FROM HUMAN VAGINAL AND SEMINAL SECRETIONS

Middelveen MJ [1], Bandoski C [2], Burke J [3], Sapi E [2], Mayne PJ [4], Stricker RB [5].

[1] Atkins Veterinary Services, Calgary, AB, Canada; [2] University of New Haven, West Haven, CT; [3] Australian Biologics, Sydney, NSW, Australia; [4] Laurieton Medical Centre, Laurieton, NSW, Australia and [5] CPMC, San Francisco, CA.

Purpose of Study: Recent reports indicate that more than 300,000 cases of Lyme disease are diagnosed yearly in the USA. Previous epidemiological and immunological studies suggest that infection with the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi could be transferred from person to person via intimate human contact without a tick vector (Harvey and Salvato, Med Hypotheses 2003;60:742; Stricker et al, J Investig Med 2004;52:S151). Detecting viable spirochetes in vaginal and seminal secretions would provide additional evidence to support this hypothesis.

Methods Used: Three North American patients with a history of Lyme disease, one male and two female, were selected for the study after informed consent was obtained. Serological testing for B. burgdorferi was performed on all three subjects. Blood and semen or vaginal secretions were used to inoculate BSK-H medium for Borrelia culture. Motile spirochetes were detected in cultures by light and/or darkfield microscopy, and cultured spirochete concentrates were subjected to Dieterle silver staining, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and anti-B. burgdorferi immunohistochemical staining for further characterization. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing was performed by two independent laboratories for specific identification of the cultured isolates. Positive and negative controls for immunohistochemical staining and PCR were performed in all experiments.

Summary of Results: Serum antibodies to B. burgdorferi were detected in all three patients. Motile spirochetes were observed in culture fluid inoculated with blood and genital secretions from the three subjects. Morphological features of spirochetes were confirmed by Dieterle staining, SEM and immunohistochemical staining of culture concentrates. PCR testing confirmed that the spirochetes isolated from blood and genital secretions were strains of B. burgdorferi, and PCR subtyping indicated that the strains were B. burgdorferi sensu stricto.

Conclusions: The culture of viable B. burgdorferi in genital secretions suggests that Lyme disease could be transmitted by intimate contact from person to person.
The person who posted the abstract also gave a comment on the study and the information in the press release:
HowTosToDosPhilly

I just looked into this and it is an abstract, not a peer reviewed study. Also, I noticed that they made a STRONG CORRELation based on one married couple testing positive for an identical strain. This needs to be replicated with a few more couples and it looks like from their population, they couldn't do that. It is good to inform loved ones with Lymes that this may be a problem, but it is by no means a comprehensive study. The Lyme community should rejoice that scientists with no conflict of interest are looking into this, but this abstract does not convince me that Lyme is sexually transmitted (yet). Here is the exact text...


edit Tue 28 Jan 2014 2:49 CET: minor text fix
edit Sat 1 Feb 2014 1:06 CET: removed out of place "460" from start of abstract title.
Last edited by Martian on Sat 1 Feb 2014 1:06, edited 3 times in total.

Martian
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Re: Lyme Disease May Be Sexually Transmitted, Study Suggests

Post by Martian » Tue 28 Jan 2014 1:18

lymedisease.org (formerly CALDA) changed (deliberately?) the word "may" into "can" in the heading:

Source: http://lymedisease.org/news/lyme_diseas ... ssion.html
NEWS: Recent study suggests that Lyme disease can be sexually transmitted

Martian
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Re: Lyme Disease May Be Sexually Transmitted, Study Suggests

Post by Martian » Tue 28 Jan 2014 1:44

Another commenter on Reddit replied:

Source: http://www.reddit.com/r/science/comment ... ed/cezblkx
aoeuisnthd

Exactly. Does it not stand to reason that a married couple would be living together in the same geographic area, and thus be exposed to ticks transmitting the same variations of Lyme?

They'd have to isolate that as a cause first, which I expect will be a little difficult to pull off.
I was thinking the same.

Martian
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Re: Lyme Disease May Be Sexually Transmitted, Study Suggests

Post by Martian » Tue 28 Jan 2014 1:55

BTW: note that the authors include some of the usual suspects.

RobertF
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Re: Lyme Disease May Be Sexually Transmitted, Study Suggests

Post by RobertF » Wed 29 Jan 2014 12:20

I am convinced that this transmission route occurs. I have never seen a study when the male is positive what the effect will be on the fetus. My daughter was born with malformations and 8 years after I was diagnosed with Lyme which I had contracted 15 years before during holidays in Easton Conn.

I hope this investigation is a start for a more larger studie with not only 3 patients but at least 30
With studies with only 3 patients the discussions will continue instaed of action and that's a pity

Margherita
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Re: Lyme Disease May Be Sexually Transmitted, Study Suggests

Post by Margherita » Wed 29 Jan 2014 13:09

I agree with you RobertF. This needs further investigation.

And with regard to Chuck's suggestion:
Follow the link and read what Relative Risk has to say about this
Please let's be serious!

lou
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Re: Lyme Disease May Be Sexually Transmitted, Study Suggests

Post by lou » Wed 29 Jan 2014 20:49

So why, since we know syphilis can be transmitted sexually, haven't our health authorities done an honest study of this? Why has the NIH not funded a multi-million dollar study? Because they don't want to know the answer? Well, their approach usually is to study it in a way or by bought researchers and find out it isn't a problem. Very many lyme issues have been solved this way.

Instead, we have to ask individual doctors to try to figure this out and do their own research, which will then be immediately discredited.

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