Lyme Disease and Miscarriages
Does Lyme Increase the Loss of Early Pregnancies?
The research and clinical experience of Lyme and pregnancies is actually larger than some think. Below is just one small animal article showing the increase in spontaneous abortions or "Miscarriages" when Lyme was injected into the mother.
Lyme disease is an inflammatory syndrome caused by infection with
Borrelia burgdorferi. Although this syndrome has important implications
for human pregnancy, little is known about gestational infection with B.
burgdorferi. Fetal death occurred in 33 of 280 gestational sacs (12%) in
39 C3H/HeN female mice infected by intradermal injection of B.
burgdorferi 4 days after mating (acute infection), compared with 0 of
191 sacs in 25 control mice (P = 0.0001). Forty-six percent of acutely
infected mice suffered at least one fetal death, compared with none of
the control animals (P = 0.0002). There were no fetal deaths in 18
C3H/HeN mice infected 3 weeks prior to mating (chronic infection). A
sensitive PCR technique detected B. burgdorferi DNA in the uteri of
acutely infected mice but did not detect DNA in the uteri of controls or
chronically infected mice. Spirochete DNA was only rarely detected in
fetal tissues, and its presence was not required for fetal death. The
inclusion of an internal competitive PCR target indicated that the lack
of B. burgdorferi sequences in fetal DNA was not due to the presence of
a PCR inhibitor. Histologic analysis of gestational tissues from
infected animals demonstrated nonspecific pathology consistent with
fetal death. These findings indicate an association between murine fetal
death and acute infection with B. burgdorferi early in gestation but not
with chronic infection. Our data suggest that fetal death is due to a
maternal response to infection rather than fetal infection. These
findings could provide an explanation for observations in humans in
which sporadic cases of fetal death in women infected with B.
burgdorferi during pregnancy have been reported,/u> while previous
infection has not been associated with fetal death.<
R M Silver, L Yang, R A Daynes, D W Branch, C M Salafia, and J J Weis
Fetal outcome in murine Lyme disease. Infect Immun. 1995 January; 63(1): 66-72.
The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (967K).