Lyme Disease On The Rise – Sexual Transmission?

Sexual transmission of Lyme disease  is hotly debated, however, Syphilis, the cousin of Lyme, is contracted primarily through sexual contact. The Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation has published the following abstract by Dr. Gregory Bach, Do.O.P.C.

Sexual transmission of Lyme disease  is hotly debated, however, Syphilis, the cousin of Lyme, is contracted


through sexual contact.

The Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation has published the following abstract by Dr. Gregory Bach, Do.O.P.C. from Pennsylvania back in 2001.  It begs the question of why more studies like this have been withheld from the public:



Lyme disease, being a spirochete with pathology similar to syphilis, is often found difficult to treat due to the spirochete invading sanctuary sites and displaying pleo-morphic characteristics such as a cyst (L-form). Because a significant portion of sexually active couples present to my office with Lyme disease, with only one partner having a history of tick exposure, the question of possible secondary

(sexual)vector of transmission for the spirochete warrants inquiry.

Additionally, sexually active couples seem to have a marked propensity for antibiotic failure raising the question of sexually active couples re-infecting themselves through intimate contact.


Lyme spirochetes/DNA have been recovered from stored animal semen. Recovery of spirochete DNA from nursing mother’s breast milk and umbilical cord blood by PCR (confirmed by

culture/microscopy), have been found in samples provided to my office.


Surprisingly, initial laboratory testing of semen samples provided by male Lyme patients (positive by western blot/PCR in blood) and the male sexual partner of a Lyme infected female patient were positive approximately 40% of the time.

PCR recovery of Lyme DNA nucleotide sequences with microscopic confirmation of semen samples yielded positive results in 14/32 Lyme patients

(13 male semen samples and 1 vaginal pap).

ALL positive semen/vaginal samples in patients with known sexual partners resulted in positive Lyme titers/PCR in their sexual partners. 3/4 positive semen patients had no or unknown sexual partners to be tested. These preliminary findings warrant further study. Current a statistical design study to evaluate the possibility of sexual transition of the spirochete is being undertaken.

Our laboratory studies confirm the existence

of Lyme spirochetes in semen/vaginal secretions. Whether or not further clinical studies with a larger statistical group will support the hypothesis of sexual transmission remains to be seen. A retrospective clinical study is also underway.

We are reviewing the medical records, collecting semen samples of patients who were previously diagnosed with current and previously treated Lyme disease are being asked to provide semen,pap and blood samples for extensive laboratory testing.


With the initially impressive data, we feel the subsequent statistical sudy on the sexual transmission of the Lyme spirochete will illuminate a much broader spectrum of public health concerns associated with the disease than the originally accepted tick borne vector.”


regarding the other ways that Lyme is transmitted

– including the sexual transmission – and hopefully better precautions can be made to slow the rapid spread of this horrible disease.

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5 Responses to Lyme Disease On The Rise – Sexual Transmission?

  1. Jay says:

    Thanks for publishing the abstract by Dr. Bach. I have Lyme Disease in a chronic form and I am voraciously reading to educate myself on this enigmatic disease.

    It stands to reason that it can be transmitted sexually given the systemic nature of the infection and the capacity of the causative agent to change its OSP’s.

    Jay H. Menna, Ph.D.

  2. Astevey says:

    I assure you I contracted Lyme from a female due to abrasions which created a blood to blood contact. In this case, sexual contact equals a sort of blood transfusion as far as pathogen transmittal is concerned.

  3. Marie Sporna says:

    In ref to Dr. Bach’s abstract: It has not been proven yet it is sexually transmitted. Possibly can be but I think one can sooner be struck by lightening. Dr. Bach is an eccentric Dr. He is the only Dr. that pushes this theory. I have heard him give 2 talks. All the same, every talk he gives he shows these same slides of patients coming into his office half dead then he shows them after treatment all lit up.
    I don’t mean to be smart but many people who went to him got fed up and left. some were support group leaders. He seems to be lyme literate as tho he took a quickie course.
    I asked him once a question about acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans and got a silence then got Oh that’s only in Europe. Well it is not. I have it plus it is not just in Europe.
    I have heard if a wife has lyme he treats the husband and vice versa. The reason many of the same family get lyme is the same environment. It does get into body fluids but like I said one can sooner be struck by lightening than to get it sexually transmitted. Also I heard Dr. Bach is very rude and people who go to him have to take a number and they have to wait so long to be taken that they can go out and half lunch and come back.. sorry but I don’t buy that sexual transmission thing. Also his fees are out of this world.

    • Jenna Smith says:

      Thanks for your input Marie! This issue about sexual transmission is very controversial and impossible to prove or disprove at this point. I hope the day is coming soon when these answers will be given conclusively.


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