Expanded Study Confirms Lyme May Be Sexually Transmitted

Topics with information and discussion about published studies related to Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases.
Martian
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Expanded Study Confirms Lyme May Be Sexually Transmitted

Post by Martian » Sat 20 Dec 2014 21:53

Note: the following study supposedly confirms and expands a preliminary report published earlier this year in The Journal of Investigative Medicine. See LNE topic Lyme Disease May Be Sexually Transmitted, Study Suggests.


Source: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/12/prweb12403459.htm
Expanded Study Confirms that Lyme Disease May Be Sexually Transmitted
International team of scientists led by Union Square Medical Associates finds evidence for sexual transmission.

San Francisco, California (PRWEB) December 19, 2014

An expanded study confirms that Lyme disease may be sexually transmitted. The study was published in the open access journal F1000Research (http://f1000research.com/articles/3-309/v1).

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. In 2013 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 published study. “It explains why the disease is more common than one would think if only ticks were involved in transmission.”

The current study, which confirms and expands a preliminary report published in The Journal of Investigative Medicine, 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, Agustin Franco and Yean Wang and dermatologist Peter Mayne from Australia working with molecular biologists Eva Sapi, Cheryl Bandoski, Katherine Filush and Arun Timmaraju, nurse-midwife Hilary Schlinger and internist Raphael Stricker from the United States.

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

As expected, all of the control subjects tested negative for Borrelia burgdorferi in cultures of semen samples or vaginal secretions. In contrast, twelve of thirteen patients with Lyme disease had positive cultures for Borrelia burgdorferi in their genital secretions. Furthermore, two of the couples with Lyme disease showed identical strains of the Lyme spirochete in their semen and vaginal secretions, while a third couple showed identical strains of a related Borrelia spirochete in their genital secretions.

“The presence of live spirochetes in genital secretions and identical strains in sexually active couples strongly suggests that sexual transmission of Lyme disease occurs,” said Dr. Mayne, who recently published the first comprehensive study of Lyme disease in Australia. “We need to do more research to determine the risk of sexual transmission of this syphilis-like organism.”

Dr. Stricker pointed to the implications for Lyme disease diagnosis and treatment raised by the study. “We have taken Lyme disease out of the woods and into the bedroom,” he said. “We need to start fighting this runaway epidemic just like HIV/AIDS.”
My emphases in the quote.

Martian
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Location: Friesland, the Netherlands

Re: Expanded Study Confirms Lyme May Be Sexually Transmitted

Post by Martian » Sat 20 Dec 2014 22:03

Source: http://f1000research.com/articles/3-309/v1

Note: free full text available at the source.
Research Article

First published: 18 dec 2014
Latest published: 18 dec 2014

Culture and identification of Borrelia spirochetes in human vaginal and seminal secretions [v1; ref status: awaiting peer review, http://f1000r.es/4rm]

Marianne J. Middelveen[1], Jennie Burke[2], Eva Sapi[3], Cheryl Bandoski[3], Katherine R. Filush[3], Yean Wang[2], Agustin Franco[2], Arun Timmaraju[3], Hilary A. Schlinger[1], Peter J. Mayne[1], Raphael B. Stricker[1]

Author affiliations

1. International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society, Bethesda, MD, 20827-1461, USA
2. Australian Biologics, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia
3. Department of Biology and Environmental Science, University of New Haven, West Haven, CT, 0

Grant information

Supported in part by a grant to MJM from the Lindorf Family Foundation, Newark, OH.

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.


Abstract

Background: Recent reports indicate that more than 300,000 cases of Lyme disease are diagnosed yearly in the USA. Preliminary clinical, epidemiological and immunological studies suggest that infection with the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) could be transferred from person to person via intimate human contact without a tick vector. Detecting viable Borrelia spirochetes in vaginal and seminal secretions would provide evidence to support this hypothesis.

Methods: Patients with and without a history of Lyme disease were selected for the study after informed consent was obtained. Serological testing for Bb was performed on all subjects. Semen or vaginal secretions were inoculated into BSK-H medium and cultured for four weeks. Examination of genital cultures and culture concentrates for the presence of spirochetes was performed using light and darkfield microscopy, and spirochete concentrates were subjected to Dieterle silver staining, anti-Bb immunohistochemical staining, molecular hybridization and PCR analysis for further characterization. Immunohistochemical and molecular testing was performed in three independent laboratories. Positive and negative controls were included in all experiments.

Results: Control subjects who were asymptomatic and seronegative for Bb had no detectable spirochetes in genital secretions by PCR analysis. In contrast, spirochetes were observed in cultures of genital secretions from 11 of 13 subjects diagnosed with Lyme disease, and motile spirochetes were detected in genital culture concentrates from 12 of 13 Lyme disease patients using light and darkfield microscopy. Morphological features of spirochetes were confirmed by Dieterle silver staining and immunohistochemical staining of culture concentrates. Molecular hybridization and PCR testing confirmed that the spirochetes isolated from semen and vaginal secretions were strains of Borrelia, and all cultures were negative for treponemal spirochetes. PCR sequencing of cultured spirochetes from three couples having unprotected sex indicated that two couples had identical strains of Bb sensu stricto in their semen and vaginal secretions, while the third couple had identical strains of B. hermsii detected in their genital secretions.

Conclusions: The culture of viable Borrelia spirochetes in genital secretions suggests that Lyme disease could be transmitted by intimate contact from person to person.
My emphases.

velvetmagnetta
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Re: Expanded Study Confirms Lyme May Be Sexually Transmitted

Post by velvetmagnetta » Sun 21 Dec 2014 4:05

Couldn't the phenomenon of two people living together carrying the same strain of Borrelia also be explained by the fact that they live together and likely got bit by ticks carrying the same strain that live around the couple's house?

Or has this not even been considered in the aforementioned study?

hv808ct
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Re: Expanded Study Confirms Lyme May Be Sexually Transmitted

Post by hv808ct » Sun 21 Dec 2014 19:53

Expanded Study Confirms Lyme May Be Sexually Transmitted
Postby Martian » Sat 20 Dec 2014
First, this is from Stricker so it's not credible.

Second, the epidemiology of LD would be completely different.

duncan
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Re: Expanded Study Confirms Lyme May Be Sexually Transmitted

Post by duncan » Sun 21 Dec 2014 20:42

hv808ct, in theory I'd have to agree with you about the epidemiology. In theory. The problem is that the current monitoring and reporting of the spread of Lyme is, um, suspect. Its diagnosis protocol is questionable. The ruling by the CDC as to where Lyme occurs is questionable. The reporting process is questionable (ten-fold error rates for years??!!)

So. We don't really have much of a handle on the epidemiology of Lyme in the U.S., do we? ;)

As for your stab at Stricker, you know the adage: People who live in glass houses, etc...I have a list as long as my arm of IDSA supporters who have lent their signatures to Lyme studies, and whose credibility isn't nearly as good as you might imagine it would be.

hv808ct
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Re: Expanded Study Confirms Lyme May Be Sexually Transmitted

Post by hv808ct » Sun 21 Dec 2014 21:44

Re: Expanded Study Confirms Lyme May Be Sexually Transmitted
Postby duncan » Sun 21 Dec 2014 20:42
So. We don't really have much of a handle on the epidemiology of Lyme in the U.S., do we? ;)
It's as good as the epi for any other I.D. in the US. Now try to imagine syphilis as a vector-borne disease.
I have a list as long as my arm of IDSA supporters who have lent their signatures to Lyme studies, and whose credibility isn't nearly as good as you might imagine it would be.
Post it.

duncan
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Re: Expanded Study Confirms Lyme May Be Sexually Transmitted

Post by duncan » Sun 21 Dec 2014 22:47

I've a better idea. How 'bout you post some names and I will volunteer whether or not I find them credible. I promise to be at least as objective in my assessments as you have been in yours.

As for Lyme epi being as good as any other ID epi in the US - now you're just being silly. Benny Hill silly.

Mind you, I am not convinced yet that Bb is sexually transmitted. I just don't think very highly of your reasons for harboring similar doubts.

Henry
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Re: Expanded Study Confirms Lyme May Be Sexually Transmitted

Post by Henry » Tue 23 Dec 2014 22:04

All should note that F1000 Research is one of those "publish first, review later -- if at all" -- type of on-line publications, that gives science a bad name. In other words, it will publish any kind of "crap", work that is unable to pass the test of rigorous peer-review required for a reputable scientific journal. Here is a statement of their policy:

" Articles are published rapidly as soon as they are accepted, after passing an in-house quality check. Peer review by invited experts, suggested by the authors, takes place openly after publication. An article remains published regardless of the referees’ reports.

Authors are encouraged to respond openly to the referee reports, which are published alongside the article, and can also publish revised versions of their article at no further cost, if they wish. Read more about F1000Research’s unique post-publication peer-review model.

Articles can be submitted as Word or rich text format (RTF) files or in LaTeX using the F1000Research template via the writeLaTeX platform, or in the Author submission system.
Please see the Article Guidelines for information about submitting different article types. You can track and manage all your submissions via My Research."

Only a witless fool would accept this as a valid finding without independent confirmation. Those who defend it should be embarrassed by their extremely low standards for judging the quality of "scientific research". But, many of us know that already.....Birds of the same feather do tend to flock together.

duncan
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Re: Expanded Study Confirms Lyme May Be Sexually Transmitted

Post by duncan » Tue 23 Dec 2014 22:17

As far as I can tell, few things give Science more of a bad name than scientists behaving badly, or scientists forgetting how to approach and practice the discipline.

And geez! What is it with all the " "'s and ..........'s? I am beginning to believe the problem is systemic in the medical community, and part of the deficit simply comes with the job. A collateral stylistic casualty, if you will. Does one note that inclination in a vitae?

Fortunately, there are excellent writers that are scientists, and scientists that work in medicine. Or if you will, excellent scientists that are also exceptional writers. Thankfully, some of them post here. Unfortunately, Henry, it seems to me not many of them are of the IDSA persuasion.

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ChronicLyme19
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Re: Expanded Study Confirms Lyme May Be Sexually Transmitted

Post by ChronicLyme19 » Wed 24 Dec 2014 3:09

So this may seem a stupid question, but what did this study prove that the last one already hadn't? The fact that couples had identical strains? Playing devil's advocate here, but couldn't that also be because they live in the same area and have the same ticks? Or that one tick fed off of one person and then moved to the other because they sleep in close proximity?

I thought they already showed that live spirochetes were in our bodily fluids?

I do still agree that sexual transmission of lyme is plausible, but I'm not sure this is enough proof yet. I'm also not sure what the best way to prove it is either tho...
Half of what you are taught is incorrect, but which half? What if there's another half missing?

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