Teratogen update: Lyme disease

Teratology. 2001 Nov;64(5):276-81. doi: 10.1002/tera.1074.


We reviewed the world literature concerning the reproductive effects of Lyme disease (LD). Borrelia burgdorferi, which is the etiology of LD, is a spirochete and, as such, may share the potential for causing fetal infection, which may occur in the setting of maternal spirochetemia. Information concerning the effects of gestational LD derives from case reports and series, epidemiologic studies, and experimental animal models. Although provocative, these studies fail to define a characteristic teratogenic effect. However, skin and cardiac involvement have predominated in some reports. Pregnancy wastage has been suggested primarily by animal studies. Gestational LD appears to be associated with a low risk of adverse pregnancy outcome, particularly with appropriated antibiotic therapy. Suggestions for management of clinical situations are presented.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical
  • Lyme Disease / epidemiology*
  • Lyme Disease / transmission
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / epidemiology*