Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. A number of other spirochetal diseases, if contracted in pregnancy, have been shown to cause fetal harm and there is concern over a similar effect with gestational borreliosis. Previously published individual case reports have suggested a possible association between gestational borreliosis and adverse pregnancy outcome; however, no specific pattern of teratogenicity has been shown, and a causal relationship has never been proven. In addition, larger epidemiological and serological series have consistently failed to demonstrate an increased risk to pregnant women who develop Lyme disease if they receive appropriate antimicrobial therapy. We describe a favorable outcome in a 42-year-old woman who developed Lyme disease in the third trimester and was treated with a full course of oral amoxicillin. In addition, we offer a review of the relevant literature regarding Lyme disease and pregnancy. The appropriate investigation and management of a woman with gestational borreliosis are discussed.
Target audience: Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Family Physicians.
Learning objectives: After completion of this article, the reader should be able to recall that Lyme disease is not an uncommon disease during pregnancy and can occur in states outside of the Northeast, explain that the diagnosis is made clinically and may be confirmed by laboratory tests, state that treatment is recommended during pregnancy, and summarize that there is no consistent data of adverse fetal effects even though the placenta is infected.