Any woman who has Lyme disease and is considering becoming pregnant or who is pregnant, or who is bitten by a tick during pregnancy, should see a Lyme disease doctor, one who understands the serious medical implications of Lyme during pregnancy. The Lyme bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, can cross the placenta and can cause death of the fetus. The Lyme Disease Association (LDA) has compiled the following list of articles related to Lyme and pregnancy and Lyme and breastfeeding for informational purposes only, for your review and review by your physician.
Project Lyme & Mothers Against Lyme Webinar – “Lyme Disease & Pregnancy: State of the Science & Opportunities for Research” featuring Holly Ahern, MS, MT (ASCP), Sue Faber, RN, BScN, & Representatives from the NIH. (2021)
CDC Focus on Maternal-Fetal Transmission of Lyme Disease (2020)
Bale JF, Jr., Murph JR (1992). “Congenital infections and the nervous system.” Pediatr Clin North Am 39(4): 669-90.
Brzostek T. (2004). “[Human granulocytic ehrlichiosis co-incident with Lyme borreliosis in pregnant woman—a case study].” Przegl Epidemiol 58(2): 289-94.
Carlomagno G; Luksa V; Candussi G; Rizzi GM; Trevisan G Acta Eur Fertil 1988 Sep-Oct;19(5):279-81 Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Trieste School of Medicine. Lyme Borrelia positive serology associated with spontaneous abortion in an endemic Italian area.
Donta S, Aberer E, Ziska M. (1996). “Clinical Conference: Chronic Lyme Disease.” Journal of Spirochetal and Tick-Borne Diseases Vol.3 No.3/4 Fall Winter 1996.
Faber S. (2017). “Research findings on Lyme and Pregnancy/Congenital Transmission.” YouTube Video Retrieved from https://www.lymehope.ca/advocacy-updates/sharing-our-research-findings-on-lyme-and-pregnancycongenital-transmission-with-minister-of-health-and-public-health-agency-of-canada The opinions presented in the video are those of the presenter and not necessarily of the Lyme Disease Association.
Gardner T. (1995). Lyme disease. Infectious diseases of the fetus and newborn infant. J. S. Remington and J. 0. Klein. Philadelphia, Saunders. Chap. 11: 447-528.
Gardner T. (2000) Lyme disease. 66 Pregnancies complicates by Lyme Borreliosis. lnfec Dis Fetus and Newborn Infant. Saunders
Goldenberg RL, Thompson C. (2003). “The infectious origins of stillbirth.” Am J Obstet Gynecol 189(3): 861-73.
Gustafson JM, Burgess EC, et al. (1993). “Intrauterine transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi in dogs.” Am J Vet Res 54(6): 882-90. (dog study)
Harvey WT, Salvato P. (2003) ‘Lyme disease’: ancient engine of an unrecognized borreliosis pandemic? Med Hypotheses. 60(5), 742-59.
Hercogova J, Vanousova D (2008). Syphilis and borreliosis during pregnancy. Dermatol Ther. 2008 May-Jun;21(3):205-9.
Jones CR, Smith H, Gibb E, Johnson L (2005) Gestational Lyme Disease: Case Studies of 102 Live Births. Lyme Times. Gestational Lyme Studies 34-36
Jovanovi R, Hajri A, Cirkovi A, et al. (1993) [Lyme disease and pregnancy]. Glas Srp Akad Nauka Med (43), 169-72.
Lakos A, Solymosi N (2010) Maternal Lyme borreliosis and pregnancy outcome. Int J Infect Dis 14(6), e494-8.
Lavoie PE; Lattner BP; Duray PH; Barbour AG; Johnson HC. Arthritis Rheum 1987; Culture positive seronegative transplacental Lyme borreliosis infant mortality. Volume 30, Number 4, 3(Suppl): S50.
Lawrence RM, Lawrence RA (2001). “Given the Benefits of Breastfeeding, What Contraindications Exist?” Pediatric Clinics of North America Volume 48, Issue 1, February 2001
MacDonald A.B. (1989). “Gestational Lyme borreliosis. Implications for the fetus.” Rheum Dis Clin North Am 15(4): 657-77.
MacDonald A.B. (1986). “Human fetal borreliosis, toxemia of pregnancy, and fetal death.” Zentralbl Bakteriol Mikrobiol Hyg [A] 263(1-2): 189-200.
MacDonald A.B., Benach J.L., et al. (1987). “Stillbirth following maternal Lyme disease.” NY State J Med 87(11): 615-6.
Maraspin, V., Cimperman J., et al. (1999). “Erythema migrans in pregnancy.” Wien Klin Wochenschr 111(22 23): 933-40.
Markowitz, L. E., Steere AC, et al. (1986). “Lyme disease during pregnancy.” JAMA 255(24): 3394-6. Because the etiologic agent of Lyme disease is a spirochete, there has been concern about the effect of maternal Lyme disease on pregnancy outcome.
Mikkelsen AL, Pa lie C. Lyme disease during pregnancy. (1987) Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 66(5), 477-8.
Moro, Manuel H.; Bjornsson, Johannes; Marietta, Eric V.; Hofmeister, Erik K.; Germer, Jeffrey J.; Bruinsma, Elizabeth; David, Chella S.; and Persing, David H. (2001). “Gestational Attenuation of Lyme Arthritis Is Mediated by Progesterone and IL-4,” J Immunol 2001; 166:7404-7409
Mylonas I (2011) Borreliosis During Pregnancy: A Risk for the Unborn Child? Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 11:891-8.
Nadal D, Hunziker UA, Bucher HU, et al. (1989) Infants born to mothers with antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi at delivery. Eur J Pediatr 148(5), 426-7. Abstract
Onk G, Acun C, Kalayci M, Cagavi F, et al. (2005) Gestational Lyme disease as a rare cause of congenital hydrocephalus. J Turkish German Gynecology Association Artemis,6(2), 156-157.
Schlesinger, P. A., Duray PH, et al. (1985). “Maternal-fetal transmission of the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi.” Ann Intern Med 103(1): 67-8.
Schutzer SE, Janniger CK, Schwartz RA (1991) Lyme disease during pregnancy. Cutis 47(4), 267-8. Abstract
Silver H. (1997) Lyme Disease During Pregnancy. Inf Dis Clinics of N. Amer. Vol 11, No 1,
Strobino BA, Abid S, Gewitz M (1999) Maternal Lyme disease and congenital heart disease: A case-control study in an endemic area. Am. J. Obstet. Gyn., 180:711-716.
Strobino BA, Williams CL, Abid S, Chalson R, Spierling P (1993) Lyme disease and pregnancy outcome: A prospective study of 2,000 prenatal patients. Amer J Ob Gyn, 169:367‑74.
Van Holten J, Tiems J, Jongen VH (1997) Neonatal Borrelia duttoni infection: a report of three cases. Trap Doct 27(2), 115-6.
Walsh CA, Mayer EW, Baxi LV. (2007). Lyme disease in pregnancy: case report and review of the literature. Obstet Gynecol Surv. 2007 Jan;62(1):41-50.
Williams CL, Strobino BA, Lee A, Curran A, Benach JL, Inamdar S and Cristofaro (1990) Lyme disease in childhood: Clinical and epidemiologic features of ninety cases. Pediatr. Infect. Dis., 9: 10‑14.
Williams CL, Strobino BA (1990) Lyme disease and pregnancy ‑ A review of the literature. Contemporary Ob/Gyn, 35:48‑64.
Williams CL, Strobino BA, Weinstein A, Spierling P, Medici F (1995) Maternal Lyme disease and congenital malformations: A cordblood serosurvey in endemic and control areas. Pediatric and Perinatal Epid., 9: 320‑330.
Weber, K., Bratzke HJ, et al. (1988). “Borrelia burgdorferi in a newborn despite oral penicillin for Lyme borreliosis during pregnancy.”Pediatr Infect Dis J 7(4):286-9.
Schmidt. B. L., Aberer E, et al. (1995). “Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi DNA by polymerase chain reaction in the urine and breast milk of patients with Lyme borreliosis.” Diaqn Microbiol Infect Dis 21(3): 121-8
Altaie. S. S., Mookherjee S, et al. (1996). Abstract # I17 Transmission of Borrelia burqdorferi from experimentally infected mating pairs to offspring in a murine model. FDA Science Forum.
Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) website
During Pregnancy & While Breastfeeding
“Lyme disease acquired during pregnancy may lead to infection of the placenta and possible stillbirth, however, no negative effects on the fetus have been found when the mother receives appropriate antibiotic treatment. There are no reports of Lyme disease transmission from breast milk.” http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/LYME/ld_transmission.htm