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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sexual transmission

A single patient who is CDC positive for Lyme, symptomatic and off antibiotics for four months agreed to have his semen tested. An ultrasensitive culture was performed at Clongen labs. Diptheroids, thought to be a contaminant grew. No Borrelia grew in the culture medium. This is only one case. So far there is no evidence to support the theory that LD is sexually transmitted. Quack watch has criticized "LLMDS" for promoting this notion, well....

DNA fingerprinting has been difficult: Clongen still expects a answer soon? Perhaps next week: we shall see.


Michele said...

I'm glad to hear that and wish that these research results are soon public. I heard a lecture recently by the CAD, "Lyme Enlightened Physician" who wrote the latest book on a Lyme Solution. In the book, as you have mentioned after reviewing it, he says that the Lyme bacteria can be be transmitted, not by a tick bite, but also by fleas and mosquitos. During the Question and Answer session he was asked if Lyme could be sexually transmitted and he replied "yes, without a doubt" Creating panic and hysteria in the public by making these statements without scientific evidence them is dangerous. However and on the bright side, the disease might get some attention by the medical community

The lecturer is an ILAD "doctor" who I think needs to have the MD taken off of his creditials. Thank you for bringing light to this.

Lyme report: Montgomery County, MD said...

I have discussed this before in the topic called "urban myths."
Doctors who take chronic Lyme seriously are under continued assault. Doctors who make such unproved statements discredit the entire movement(if this is the right word).

I think it is a bit harsh to recommend removing this doctor's MD.

I do think that many "LLMDS" have already decided what is true about Lyme disease. They are comfortable with their data base and their treatment approaches.

This blog reflects my sense that these issues are far from settled. My data base and treatment strategies are in a state of growth and flux.

A blog is a place where ideas can be bandied about. If I were on the other hand to write a book, I would do my best to make sure the "facts" could be vetted.

Moreover, the same would apply to remarks made in a public forum.

If a doctor were to say: Lyme as a spirochete shares some features with syphilis. Some have suggested that it might be sexually transmitted, however there is no data to support this theory. Then one could accept this as a responsible, reasoned comment.

As I have oft asked: Isn't it the unproved dogma of the IDSA, passed off as fact, which we find so objectionable?

We need to do better.

Unknown said...

I am sorry to hear that the doctor made such comments in pubic without consdiering its' huge responsibilities.

But I benefited a lot from his book. His book has many great points to help patient to get well. The bacteria is a great cause for lyme disease. But if you take care many small things in your life, it could save you a lot from pain and help you to heal fast from the disease. As a chronic lyme disease sufferer and medical doctor, he provides great points of view on how to recover from this disease. No one is perfect.

my3boys said...

First off, I would like to thank you for posting this blog, I have been reading the posts and discussions and find it informative.

I have found out after many years that Lyme is the cuplrit to my health problems not "unspecified" autoimmune issues that I was treated late now to undo the immunosuppression.

I found your sight while trying to find more scientific research to understand this better, the research and science stinks from what I have learned. I am not a doctor. I am an RN who now cant work safely because of the neuro stuff and that makes me mad, upset, etc. I am sure anyone in medicine would understand.

I am interested to follow the outcome of this study for the results.

I have wondered if my husband would be at risk from this; obviously my kids are and working on getting them tested now. I would like to see them do a comparision of pre and post treatment in men and women as well.

I have had strange findings in labs and biopsy's throughout the years and the response was.. well, thats odd and probably nothing. Wrong answer. But I found doctors dismissing anything that was not explained and was fully understood by them at the time. And that was a disservice to me and my health.
I pray that good, effective- in cost and ability- lab testing is available soon. I would be running for it for my kids instead of playing the lets see what we find in quest, labcop, etc.

Thank you again for all your postings. You are really giving those of us trying to understand some insight that is medicine based as I have found quit a bit of alternative medicine info. but the appoach you are taking is hard to find info. on. Thanks again.

lymie said...

Isn't Bb hard to culture? Seems like the inability to culture it in this case is not a sure sign that the bacteria would not be in seminal fluid.

If dogs sharing a kennel can transmit lyme to each other without a tickbite, then it seems like we still have a lot to learn about this bacterium.

Michele said...

Good point that it is but one sample but at least it is a statement made from a scientific/research and no conclusion is drawn. When I heard the statement it was a conclusion. There was no follow up or preface like "Due to the results of ...... I would say the possibility exists.... I have heard others repeat the statement as they believe this person would not say it unless he knew for sure.

I would like to hear if anyone else with chronic Lyme has experienced anything like well, slights. Not true discrimination but fear because I have. From my own family and co-workers no less and I must forgive them because I'm going to have to see them again. There is no fear that I will have sex with any of them. Its alway suttle like "Well, we really should be careful not to drink from the same glass; just in case" or "lets get our own drinks at the movies" when we used to get one and share. I never say "sure, I wanted my own all along anyway, never did like sharing with you" but is this how it starts? Could just be my family, they are fairly thoughtless and my co-workers are probably infected also (occupational hazard) but I wonder if others have had this experience. It does not feel good. Let me know.

Unknown said...


I need to thank you for your wonderful blog. Your views about Lyme and treatment are in-line with my own...and my LLMDs, who is a prominent LLMD who has been treating 27 years, you are doing a great job.

I am very concerned for the future of ILADS, as doctors who have questionable credentials and treatments, continue to affiliate themselves with the organization. I remember a few years ago when Dr. Stricker created panic, announcing on a news segment that he believed Lyme disease was transmitted from person to person.

Now, it has gone further...we have LLMDs promoting treating ones partner, even if they are perfectly healthy and do not test positive for exposure to Lyme or Co's.

Taking it even further..There have been "ILADS" LLMDs who tell young sexually active patients to treat their disease as if it were AIDS, telling potential partners about the possible risk of contracting the disease.


We need to promote the widespread prevalence of this disease, the sub-standard testing,the search for a cure ...not unsubstantiated theories such as sexual transmission, bee venom and green lasers.

Basically, ILADS needs more like you, with a sound approach that works for a majority of patients. Yet, I find it amazing that you are the one under investigation...for using, antibiotics, and these other "doctors", creating panic and destroying whatever credibility ILADS has left, are left alone. Why?

Keep up the fight doc, The truth will come out eventually...

Michele said...

Claire, Thanks for your comment. I have also heard LLMD's tell patients to treat the disease like they would if they had AIDS. So panic or fear HAS set in with a certain population. I have no doubt that others with Chronic Lyme are feeling the same things that I have felt. It does lead right into what the IDSA wants people to think about ILADS doctors and these remarks have been made by ILAD doctors so how do you defend them? I think pressure from within the ILADS organization, from their peers, must be put on them to stop. What do you think LymeMD? Thank you so much for being professional, ethical and trying to find the answers through proven scientific techniques.

Unknown said...

One of my first, significant symptoms of Lyme seemed to be swollen testicles. Perhaps, research should focus on finding patients who are experiencing or have recently experienced apparent infections to their reproductive system. Clearly, Lyme does not pervasively transmit sexually or it would be an even greater epidemic. But, instead, perhaps it is transmittable by those few experiencing current, localized infection of the genitalia.

lymie99 said...

The case with dogs passing lyme in the same pen has led some to believe in household transmission. My own theory is that this case came from the licking of urine, which is one mode of transmission of another spirochete across animals and thru contaminated water, leptospirosis.

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Anonymous said...

As far as I know it has never been accurately researched apart from one study in 2001 where DNA of the Borrelia bacterium was found in semen samples of infected patients. So the claim that it is definitely not contagious is wrong right there, because no proof of this exists! There are a lot of sites that state that it is not contagious as a scientific fact( if you google it it's about 90%) which I think you really can't do if you've got no proof to back it up. No links to sources or research results or anything. So not enough research has been done here. Furthermore, there are animal studies in which transmission has actually been documented. If it's possible with animals why not with humans? The Borrelia bacteria are related to the sifilys bacterium(sexual transmission?!) and mother to foetus transmission has been documented also. I mean it's worth checking it out right? Futhermore the disease can mimic symptoms of more than a hundred other diseases and it can take years for a person to actually get sick. If you get sick at all because for some reason(research?) some people never do although they do have antibodies.

So ask yourself what you think now? I'm not drawing any conclusions but I say the least someone could do is do some proper research. One PCR or one PCR study is hardly enough, especially with the technique being relatively new. With all the signs pointing towards a POSSIBILITY that Lyme is actually transmissable I feel it really should be done. If I was a researcher I'd definitely think this would be enough "suspicions" to go for it.

As for me I think I'm cured although I've still got some weird complaints going on that I never had before I was tested positive(positive about that :)) so I am kind of doubting whether or not to hook up with someone anytime soon. It would be really great if someone would figure out a test that could say with 100% certainty whether or not all the bacteria are gone or incapacitated after antibiotics because too many people keep having complaints after being treated "succesfully" as I was. The whole "Post-Lyme Syndrom" is just a name given to complaints which cannot be explained. There is again however no real proof that a post lyme syndrom actually exists. It might just as well be bacteria having survived the treatment causing the continuing complaints.

my3boys said...

updated info for anyone who may come along and "catch-up" and read all old posts

we have found out since my post in Nov. that my husband, and mother-in-law are in fact postitive for lyme, RMSF, and hubby bart
mom-in-law: various, multiple viral loads (EBV, CVM, etc)

myself: lyme, bart, babs, RMSF, myco pneum

husband NOT symptomatic, i am and under LLMD tx. mother in law symptomatic and unable to afford furter testing or treatment, stuck in HMO insurance..

just information. who knows HOW transmission passed. we are close family and mother-in-law and my mom were present for all 3 of my births, have been there when I have been sick for over 20 yrs. So- have they all been exposed to various bodily fluids, YES.

I do have theory of this possibly starting on husbands side for last 3 generations bc of the serious health issues/deaths even at such young ages. then when factor in the longevity of instinces of possible sexual transmission with hubby....over 15 yrs of time, could be possible???? is only my theory.

or what about knowing can pass via breast milk, ok; this may be a gross thought to some but all medical professionals on here will know when pregnant there is chance of that being mode of transmission between spouses ???

i know with each subsequent pregnancy i would have breast fullness/ early leakage earlier, and earlier.....possible mode i think ???
interesting I do find. testing on our kids is at hold, have been told congenital transmisstion hard to test for- theory is has been there since conception and may not show anitbodies ???? watching them, and trying to keep immune system boosted.

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