Lyme Disease & Pregnancy Research & Opportunities Webinar

On April 29th, 2021, Mothers Against Lyme & Project Lyme presented an interactive webinar Lyme Disease and Pregnancy: State of the Science and Opportunities for Research Support featuring Holly Ahern, MS, MT (ASCP), Sue Faber, RN, BScN, and representatives from the NIH.

It is known that Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, can cross the placenta, causing infection in unborn children, but there is little published research on the topic. This lack of information hurts healthcare providers and patients in terms of diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

The webinar, with more than 200 people registered, gave researchers an opportunity to hear the science on Lyme and pregnancy, and to learn about the application process for newly available funds from the Federal government, as presented by NIH program officers.

Watch the webinar below on YouTube. See links below for pdf’s of 2 presentations and supplemental information.

The LDA thanks Project Lyme, Mothers Against Lyme, Holly Ahearn (MS, MT), and Sue Faber RN, BScN for their work on Lyme and pregnancy and for this webinar.

The webinar was recorded and available to view on YouTube.
Click here to watch the webinar   See pdf’s below.

Below are 2 of the presentations and supplemental information in pdf form.

Lyme disease and Pregnancy – Epidemiology and Pathobiology of Borrelia: Implications for Research by Holly Ahern, MS, MT (ASCP), Associate Professor of Microbiology, State University of New York, Adirondack; Vice-President Lyme Action Network; Scientific Advisor for Focus on Lyme; Advisory Board for Mothers Against Lyme, and Mom

Maternal-Fetal Transmission of Lyme Disease: Research Gaps and Opportunities by Sue Faber RN, BScN, Co-Founder and President of LymeHope

Lyme and Pregnancy Webinar Supplemental Information by Sue Faber, RN BScN

Lyme Disease and Pregnancy: State of the Science and Opportunities for Research Support

On April 29th, 2021, Mothers Against Lyme & Project Lyme presented an interactive webinar Lyme Disease and Pregnancy: State of the Science and Opportunities for Research Support featuring Holly Ahern, MS, MT (ASCP), Sue Faber, RN, BScN, and representatives from the NIH.

Click here for LDA website article with more info on the webinar

Click below to watch webinar




Govt. Wants Your Input on National Strategy for Vector-Borne Diseases

The Federal Register published the following RFI pertaining to a national strategy for vector-borne disease:

Request for Information (RFI): Developing the National Public Health Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Vector-Borne Diseases in Humans
The development of a national strategy on vector-borne diseases including tick-borne diseases was mandated by Congress. To inform development of the national strategy to address vector-borne diseases, HHS is issuing this Request for Information (RFI). Click here to view the RFI.

The RFI solicits specific input regarding strategic goals, benchmarks, gaps, duplicative federally funded programs, and opportunities to enhance coordination data collection, research, and the development of diagnostics, treatments, vaccines, and other related activities across HHS and other federal departments.

To be considered, public comments must be received electronically no later than midnight Eastern Standard Time (EST) on June 11, 2021. You may comment by clicking ‘submit a formal comment’ on the RFI page of the Federal Register (click here to submit your comment) or you may also comment via Regulations.gov at, https://www.regulations.gov/commenton/HHS-OASH-2021-0012-0001Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, will be posted to the docket unchanged and available to view by the public. Evidence and information supporting your comment can be submitted as attachments. Please provide your contact information or organization name on the web-based form for possible follow-up from HHS. There is a 5,000 character limit on comments and maximum number (10) of attached files and maximum size (10 MB) of each attached file.
Review the Request for Information (RFI).
Submit a formal comment. 
Submit your comment via Regulations.gov.

LDA’s List of News & Journal Articles on Covid-19 & Lyme

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
(Photo Credit: Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS)

The LDA is compiling a list of articles in the news & journals of possible interest regarding Covid-19 & Lyme disease.

Autonomic dysfunction in ‘long COVID’: rationale, physiology and management strategies (Clinical Medicine – London) Melanie Dani, et al.

Lyme Disease in the Era of COVID-19: A Delayed Diagnosis and Risk for Complications (Case Reports in Infectious Diseases, 2021) Novak, C. B., Scheeler, V. M., & Aucott, J. N. 

The Safe Way to Get Your COVID-19 Vaccine: #ScreenB4Vaccine (noorchashm.medium.com 1/28/2021) Hooman Noorchashm, MD, PhD

Reaction of Human Monoclonal Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 Proteins With Tissue Antigens: Implications for Autoimmune Diseases
(Frontiers in Immunology 1/19/21) Aristo Vojdani, Elroy Vojdani and Datis Kharrazian

Ivermectin Could Turn COVID-19 Around. We Need To Find Out If It Works (trialsitenews.com 10/1/2020) by Mary Beth Pfeiffer

Is There a Connection Between COVID-19 and Popular Hypertension Medication (pcornet.org  8/12/2020) National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network

What happens when coronavirus and Lyme disease intersect? (USAtoday.com 6/22/2020) by Isabel Rose and Dana Parish

Why the Coronavirus Has Been So Successful (The Atlantic 3/20/2020) by Ed Yong

Lessons From Lyme Disease: Six Reasons The CDC’s COVID-19 Failure Was Predictable (Forbes 3/13/2020) by Mary Beth Pfeiffer

Blocking Tick-Borne Infection with Nanobodies

Fig. 8. D7, but not D3, abrogates E. chaffeensis-induced increase in MnSOD and reduction in ROS and inhibits infection. (A) HEK293 cells were transfected with HA-tagged Nbs and infected with E. chaffeensis (Ech) at 1 dpt. Native E. chaffeensis Etf-1, E. chaffeensis outer membrane proteins P28/OMP-1F, Nbs, MnSOD, and human actin were detected at 2 dpi by Western blotting using their respective antibodies. (B, D, and E) Quantification of relative densities of MnSOD (B), P28 (D), and Etf-1 (E) normalized against actin. (C) ROS production at 2 dpi was analyzed by the fluorescent indicator H2DCFDA. Null, buffer control without H2DCFDA. (B−E) Data are presented as the mean ± SD from three independent experiments with triplicates per sample. *P < 0.05, by one-way ANOVA.

Ohio State University researchers have just published an article on their creation of nanobodies which target the protein that causes E. chaffeensis bacteria to be extremely infectious. Nanobodies are small molecules that can be designed to mimic the function  and structure of antibodies and may be the solution to inhibit tick-borne bacterial infections that remain inaccessible by most current antibiotics due to the fact that they reside and replicate inside human immune cells. 

Researchers conducted a number of experiments in both mice and cell cultures which identified one specific nanobody that could suppress E. chaffeensis infection by blocking three ways the protein enables the bacteria to commandeer immune cells. It is thought that these nanobodies can be developed as a new or complementary therapy for human monocytic ehrlichiosis as well as other tick-borne diseases that are caused by intracellular infections, infections that can be fatal if left untreated or undertreated. 

Read Science Daily article here.

Read full text Ohio State research article here.

Read more LDA posts on Ehrlichiosis here.

May, Lyme Disease Awareness Month

HELP US! This page is in progress — a full list of any resolutions submitted will be posted at the end of May with your help. Please contact your state, county or local governing body and ask them to pass a May resolution to spread the word about Lyme & tick-borne diseases. Check on your governing body website to see if there is a place listed to submit a request.

Click here to submit your state or county proclamation/resolution to LDA for inclusion on this page.

2021 May Lyme Awareness Proclamations

Many states and counties take steps to raise awareness regarding Lyme and tick-borne diseases during May. Declaring “May Lyme Awareness Month” is one move to help remind people spring is here, ticks are out, prevention & proper education are your best tools to staying healthy.

Proclamations are issued by governors and resolutions are adopted by the legislature. The LDA salutes and thanks all the governors, legislators, Lyme groups, and advocates who help raise awareness throughout the year. Your efforts make a difference!

See if your state has joined in May Lyme Awareness & Read the state proclamations.

New Jersey



Click images for pdf versions

NJ Governor Proclamation – May 2021 as TBD Awareness Month

Tick Awareness Proclamation 2021 (Lyme Disease)

State of NJ Joint Resolution Occurring Each Year

NJ Joint Resolution Each Year

Resolution above is from the NJ state legislature declaring every May Lyme Disease Awareness Month.

City of Richardson, Texas Proclamation Signed by the Mayor

Colorado Proclamation Signed by the Governor



































Burrascano Blog/COVID Testing: Dogs/Ticks at Beach/RI Patients/COVID Treatment/New Lyme Test/4-Poster & Ticks/Babesiosis/Multiplex & COVID/Periodontitis & COVID/MO Study/UMaine Citizen Scientists/COVID Pill/May Lyme Awareness/Guest Blogs

Pregnancy, Breastfeeding & Lyme Bibliography

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




Look For: May Guest Blogs for May Lyme Awareness

Each May, the LDA asks experts in the area of Lyme & tick-borne diseases to write a blog to educate the public in an opinion piece on a specific topic or one they choose. One blog is published each week. For Lyme/TBD awareness 2021, LDA will present the following: 
Joseph Burrascano, MD  Lyme Testing
Adrian Baranchuk, MD  Lyme Carditis 2021 Update
Kenneth Liegner, MD  Lyme & TBD Where we are 2021
Sue Faber, RN, BScN  Lyme & Pregnancy
James Occi, PhD (Cand.)  Ticks
The opinions expressed by the authors are their own opinions. Check LDA Guest Blogs page on our website each week in May to see the new blog or to read past blogs by other guest experts. Go to the President’s Blog page to read posts by the LDA president.

Year’s End May See Pill to Treat COVID

Pfizer CEO, Albert Bourla, announced yesterday that an antiviral pill to treat Covid-19 may be available by the end of the year. The pill, taken orally at home, would be effective at the first sign of Covid-19 infection or exposure, and is expected to be effective against variants.

Pfizer is testing two antivirals, one intravenous and the other oral, but is focusing on the oral drug, due to it’s ease of use.

Last month Pfizer started Phase 1 clinical trials of the drug, called PF-07321332, which contains protease inhibitors that bind to viral enzymes, preventing viral replication. Protease inhibitors are used successfully for HIV and hepatitis C. Phase 3 testing is now underway in the U.S. and Belgium for the drug.

See article in Forbes.com  “Pfizer CEO Says Antiviral Pill To Treat Covid Could Be Ready By The End Of The Year” (4/28/2021)

Read additional LDA posts on COVID here.