Send to

Choose Destination
J Parasitol. 1999 Jun;85(3):426-30.

Investigation of venereal, transplacental, and contact transmission of the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, in Syrian hamsters.

Author information

Institute of Arthropodology and Parasitology, Department of Biology, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro 30460, USA.


A hamster was inoculated with the SI-1 strain of Borrelia burgdorferi and subsequently served as a host to larval Ixodes scapularis Say. Approximately 68% of the nymphs resulting from the fed larvae were infected. Nymphs from this group were fed on uninfected hamsters, and 3 of 4 males and 6 of 6 females became infected. The infected hamsters were allowed to mate with uninfected partners to test for venereal transmission. Six infected females were mated with 6 uninfected males, whereas 3 infected males were mated with 6 uninfected females. None of the uninfected hamsters became infected after mating. Two protocols were used to determine if transplacental transmission of B. burgdorferi occurred. One group included 6 nonpregnant infected females that were subsequently mated and became pregnant. Three of the females were allowed to carry to full term, whereas the other 3 were killed prior to parturition. All fetuses and offspring were negative for B. burgdorferi based on cultures and monoclonal antibody assays. Another group of 6 females was infected via tick bite after becoming pregnant; those females were allowed to carry fetuses to birth and all were negative. Attempts at contact transmission of B. burgdorferi from 2 infected females to 2 uninfected male and 2 uninfected female hamsters and from 2 infected males to 2 uninfected male and uninfected female hamsters via urine or feces failed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center