The CDC has updated their website today in three different spots to address the very important issue of maternal-fetal transmission of Lyme disease, from an infected mother to her fetus/baby.
The first update is in the Transmission section under 'Are there other ways to get Lyme disease' which states:
'Untreated Lyme disease during pregnancy can lead to infection of the placenta. Spread from mother to fetus is possible but rare. Fortunately, with appropriate antibiotic treatment, there is no increased risk of adverse birth outcomes. There are no published studies assessing developmental outcomes of children whose mothers acquired Lyme disease during pregnancy.'
The second update is in the Lyme Disease FAQ under the question 'I am pregnant and think I have Lyme disease, what should I do? which states:
'If you are pregnant and suspect you have contracted Lyme disease, contact your physician immediately.
Untreated Lyme disease during pregnancy can lead to infection of the placenta. Spread from mother to fetus is possible but rare. Fortunately, with appropriate antibiotic treatment, there is no increased risk of adverse birth outcomes.* There are no published studies assessing developmental outcomes of children whose mothers acquired Lyme disease during pregnancy.'
* Silver HM. Lyme disease during pregnancy . Infect Dis Clin North Am. 1997 Mar;11(1):93-7.
The third update is to the Pregnancy and Lyme Disease poster.
Clearly addressing the possibility of transmission from an infected mother to her baby is so important and we hope and trust this will open new doors for families who have expressed concern that their children were infected in-utero, so as to access medical treatment, support, follow-up and care. This update also provides confirmation of the necessity for urgent, dedicated, scientific and medical research, in this area.
It is clear that the issue of maternal-fetal transmission of Lyme disease requires urgent research and a collective, multi-disciplinary, 'all-hands on deck' approach to address this alternate mode of transmission.
We are thankful for CDC leadership on this specific issue. Other countries around the world will take note.
It is time that ALL voices are heard, validated and acted upon. We can and must work together for the sake of our children and future generations.
It is also important to note that the HHS Tick-Borne disease working group subcommittee Clinical Aspects of Lyme Disease, recently issued a report which also included a section:
Priority 4: Further evaluate potential maternal-fetal transmission of Lyme disease and of congenital Lyme disease.
Published Literature on Maternal-Fetal Transmission of Lyme disease below. Taken from our compilation of the literature here: https://www.lymehope.ca/advocacy-updates/march-03rd-2018
Canadian CTV National News: https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/mothers-on-a-mission-to-prove-lyme-disease-can-be-passed-to-unborn-child-1.4261403