fetal transmission pregnancy

Topics with information and discussion about published studies related to Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases.
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fetal transmission pregnancy

Postby OneGuest » Sun 10 Aug 2008 15:45


(link shows good bloodsmear photo with rbc' and spirochetes)

Blood, 15 November 2000, Vol. 96, No. 10, pp. 3333-3333

Congenital relapsing fever (Borrelia hermsii).
(note: B. hermsii is on west coast U.S. and into British Columbia, Ca)

William A. Dittman Sr, Sacred Heart Medical Center, Spokane, WA.

A 35-week infant was delivered by cesarean section because of fetal distress. Her mother presented to Sacred Heart Medical Center early because of decreased fetal movement. At delivery, the child demonstrated respiratory depression requiring intubation and manual resuscitation. Apgar scores were 1 at one minute and 5 at five minutes.

The "admitting" diagnosis was sepsis with shock. Cord blood counts revealed a white blood cell count at 8.2/µL, hemoglobin level at 16.4g/dL, hematocrit level at 48.8%, and platelet count at 8/µL. Nucleated red blood cells were 88 per 100 white blood cells. During verification of the platelet count with the blood film, multiple spirochetes were seen (A), many in clumps (B). These spirochetes were further classified and confirmed by immunofluorescent antibody staining as Borrelia hermsii.

No organisms were seen on multiple blood films of the mother. Although the placenta was grossly and microscopically normal, silver stains demonstrated spirochetes.

A review of the prenatal history identified an episode of fever, chills, aching, headache, and fatigue which occurred at week 16 of the pregnancy. The mother recalled a similar one-day illness at week 19. There were no other untoward events until presentation.

The child was treated with fluids for the septic shock. Ampicillin and cefotaxime were given initially, and erythromycin was added when the spirochetes were found. Dexamethasone was administered for the septic shock and thrombocytopenia. Improvement was progressive until day 9 when hypotension, pallor, and abdominal distension occurred. Autopsy revealed bleeding into a liver abscess with subsequent rupture of a subcapsular hematoma. No organisms were found in the abscesses at autopsy.

Relapsing fever (tick-borne borrelia hermsii) is endemic to the western United States. It is transmitted by the Ornithodoros hermsii tick.

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Re: fetal transmission pregnancy

Postby cave76 » Sun 10 Aug 2008 18:54


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Re: fetal transmission pregnancy

Postby minitails2 » Mon 11 Aug 2008 11:09

That's just terrible. Identfication and treatment are so important, aren't they.

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Re: fetal transmission pregnancy

Postby OneGuest » Mon 11 Aug 2008 13:58

It made me sick to my stomach, too.

I posted it because IDSA lame,...sorry,...lyme policymakers deny evidence of fetal transmission.

I ran across other info that I wanted to ask people's opinions on. I wont
be able to get back to the computer for about a week, though.

I think they are best started in another posting, probably in General.
The first involved which spirochetes are lyme. All? Some?
If they limit it to B.b. s. s. B31 (not sensu lato), then studies have
to be filtered.

However, the everyday use of the word "lyme" by other university
researchers, implies it is all borreliosis infections, and IDSA lyme policy makers will
have to change their terminology to differentiate that specific borrelia. It cannot
be called lyme by them, since it would be impossible for the rest of the world
to revise research. Maybe "sensulatostrictusB31itis" is a term appropriate to their studies.
Thus, until they further revise their term, their research is guilty of misleading
majority of the world's researchers.

Also, B. hermsii was described as a "flagellate-less" spirochete. There were
a few other spirochetes in this category. I would like to find info on these other

I also need to find nomenclature (genus species) for all of these spirochetes

It was a harsh article. It truly underlines the need for use of antibiotics prior to
conception, and during
pregnancy, for families who have had lyme, even when asymptomatic and test


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Re: fetal transmission pregnancy

Postby kga » Mon 11 Aug 2008 20:00

This information is so depressing and awful. I posted in another pregnancy thread, but didn't get any response so I thought I'd try again here.

I am 24 and will be finished with abx in the next few months after being treated for 2.5 years. I have been sick for the last 10 yrs, so I want to give my body a couple years to have a "normal" life before we start trying to have children.

I feel like the information I find about gestational transmission involves either women who did not know they had lyme, or contracted lyme during the pregnancy.

Does anyone know if the risks are the same for a pregnancy after you have been treated for lyme?

In Under Our Skin, it shows a woman who has had several miscarriages due to lyme, and a child born with lyme and I would never want to risk that. I just can't bear the thought of passing this on to a little one. I am open to adopting, but am not quite ready to lose the dream of having a child quite yet.

We have all lost enough of our lives and dreams already, haven't we?

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Re: fetal transmission pregnancy

Postby OneGuest » Mon 11 Aug 2008 20:53

There have been numerous reports of women who took antibiotics during pregnancy (I think one took
amoxycillin), and went on to have healthy babies. It can drive any active or simmering infection into a cyst form, plus the egg and future baby will be treated at the same time....

You are way ahead of the curve.

This lady, and other women, did not know they carried an infection, or got bit during the pregnancy. Even with the latter, when they received treatment after the bite, had normal babies. These are good odds, and reassuring.

You know now, ahead of time, what to do. There are contraceptive aids on the market to prevent pregnancy until you are ready to conceive. You can consult with a llmd concerning prophylactic treatment, prior to your decision to remove contraceptive aids for conception.

Of course, I am not a doctor, and this is just my viewpoint.

I think once we see any problem with beloved babies, we fear for our own inside...no matter what the cause of the problem, and some of those problems were not even preventable. So, it is not just lyme that stirs that fear.


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Re: fetal transmission pregnancy

Postby minitails2 » Tue 12 Aug 2008 9:30

Try looking at California lyme's story under personal stories. You may have to look for it, but she had a very healthy child with lyme. :)

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Re: fetal transmission pregnancy

Postby kga » Thu 14 Aug 2008 20:51

thanks for your thoughts! and its always encouraging to hear a success story...I will have to find CL's story.

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Re: fetal transmission pregnancy

Postby LymeEnigma » Fri 15 Aug 2008 20:07

It seems that the CDC has recently changed its stance on Lyme disease and pregnancy:

Since transplacental transmission of B. burgdorferi has been documented, it will be important to determine whether maternal infection with B. burgdorferi is associated with an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcome. Cases of Lyme disease during pregnancy should be reported to state health departments and CDC (telephone (404) 329-3687) before delivery so the types and approximate frequency of any adverse outcome can be determined and appropriate diagnostic tests obtained.


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Re: fetal transmission pregnancy

Postby Fin24 » Sat 23 Aug 2008 4:15



the link took me to something dated June 28 1985

was this correct???

I was so excited as Evan is gestational and printed it looked down and OH NO useless

anyone have more recent NIH or CDC stuff re congenital transmission to convince the ID guy we have got to see even tho Im not too happy???

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