Re: Can lyme disease be sexually transmitted?
The lyme experts were recently asked this question at a lyme convention. The jury is still out but they lean towards "no" it can not be transmitted sexually for a few reasons. First off, the lyme bacteria is like the syphillis bacteria, but not exactly. If lyme was like syphillis then one shot of IM penicillin and you would be cured. Also, syphillis is easier to diagnose on blood tests. If lyme were sexually transmitted then it would be much, much more prevalent than it is and you wouldn't see clusters of lyme in the northeast and uppermidwestern united states like you do. I know you are in the U.K, I don't know the epidemiology of the U.K. and Europe, but I would bet there are areas where lyme is more prevalent than in other places.
Also, there seems to be the need for lyme to go through the parasite-host chain to transmit the bacteria. You need to have that middle step of the white-footed mouse, or deer or whatever it may be. Lastly, the experts believe that when whole families have lyme it is due more to them being in the same envronment than that is is passed human to human with the exception of mother to child. Lyme can be passed through the placenta and through breast milk.
There was a study done in lyme endemic areas where they tested all biting insects for Bb-the bacteria that causes lyme; ticks, mosquito's flies, fleas, gnats, spiders you name it they tested them and they found that over 20% carried the Bb bacteria. Certain insects like gnats swarm, so imagine that a swarm is feeding on an infected deer or mouse and then they move on into your backyard where they bite you, your spouse, kids etc. If 20% of those bugs have the bacteria...? My family will be wearing a lot of bug spray from now on.