Bed bugs and Lyme

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 4/2/2017 11:05 AM (GMT -6)   
I've seen at least a couple of posts on this forum claiming bed bugs can transmit Lyme. (One was in response to my post about getting bed bug bites on vacation but getting Lyme rash along with bb bite marks.)

If that claim is true, I'd like to see a reference to follow up on. My own LLMD did not agree bed bugs may have caused my Lyme when I raised the issue. If there is any possibility at all, I'd like to find out, because I may have brought bed bugs home with me (doubtful but I'm investigating). It would suck to treat my Lyme for two months then get reinfected by bed bugs.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2016
Total Posts : 1780
   Posted 4/2/2017 11:36 AM (GMT -6)   
I believe if you continue your treatment, you'll fight any new infection. Since you had a rash and/or have had symptoms, I'd suggest continuing treatment 2 months after symptoms are clear.

If you aren't in treatment, I'd consider restarting.

This is another controversial topic. Some say they carry Lyme, some don't. I brief Google search will confirm that.

I personally believe they do😐
Moderator, Lyme Forum

Dx May 2015 Quest pos Elisa/neg WB. Doxy only. Restest Igenix lyme pos, neg CDC, 18 +, **23-25 IND, *30 +, **31+, **34 IND, **41+, **83-93++. Retest12/16 Igen 41+, 83-93+ whole blood-plasmid pos. Retest Lyme/co's. Neg co's. Suspected Bart. 7/15 start 16 mo of doxy, azith, ceftin. Finished 09/16. Cowden start 12/16

Elite Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 36310
   Posted 4/2/2017 12:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Most of the articles that would prove much of what we need to prove are not free access articles - they are held by organizations like this article, where you have to pay to read it. So your doctor would likely have access to better articles than say, I do, as I simply can't afford to pay for each and every article that I woudl like/need to read.

This is an excerpt that I found though:

"When Romero (2009) fed bed bugs Borrelia hermsii, an etiological agent of relapsing fever, he
found that spirochetes persisted in the gut.."

In this article:

Most research seems to point to that the bed bugs must be infected and then pass the infection on in less than 24 hours - which is possible, even if unlikely. What we need now is more research though.

Here is one study that was done and says this in their conclusion about Borrelia Hermesii (tick borne relapsing fever), which is the only strain that I can find studies on right now:
"In conclusion, B. hermsii spirochetes that were orally-ingested by bed bugs persisted in gut content or insect body for up to one day. These observations provide evidence that B. hermsii may be present in the body of bed bugs for up to 24 h if this bacterium has been ingested while feeding on an infected human or animal host. These results raise the question about the potential for transmission of this disease agent by bed bugs. Our results suggest that the bed bug is an improbable vector for this spirochete.

While the pathogen was detected in feces for 24 h, defecation would likely only occur on the original bacteremic host because only one meal is required for satiation. Similarly, a crushed bed bug would only be infective if it fed and then moved to an uninfected host within 24 h. Because bed bugs will feed a second time only after a minimum of 4 days, and the bacteria only persists in the bed bug or its feces for less than 2 d, transmission from host to host seems unlikely. "

Page 119
Herb only treatment for Lyme & Bart ended 12/11 - no active symptoms for 2 yrs -Herb only treatment for Babesia ended 12/12
Had Lyme, Bart, Babs, RMSF, Ehrlichia, Myco, Anaplasmosis, EBV
New Lyme case 8/2014 - Healed 1/31/15 - unknowingly had Asymptomatic Babs and Asymptomatic Bart, being treated now though (2/2016)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2015
Total Posts : 3828
   Posted 4/2/2017 12:54 PM (GMT -6)   
I've only repeated what the health department told me when they called to tell my I was pos. for RMSF, and to get retested in 2 weeks. The information was in her reply to my question as to why they were calling me and not my PCP who had ordered the tests. (who never did call me).

I jokingly asked her if it was catching and was I under quarantine. She said if the ticks or bedbugs bit me and then bit someone else.....

She did not mention flies or mosquitoes. Or sexual transmission.

I tried to get more info(on line just now), and got side tracked with this article about relapsing fever. I don't think I've seen lice mentioned anywhere before in conjunction with the Borrelias. I also don't know much about soft bodied ticks as opposed to hard bodied.
Pretty interesting:

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2018
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 3/22/2018 6:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello. I was bitten by bed bugs last October and I'm here to tell you they absolutely made me sick. I have many Lyme symptoms and am currently waiting for test results to come back. My husband also was bitten and he also is developing developing similar symptoms. There is an interesting study done in 2014 where bed bugs transmitted the T. Cruzi bacteria that causes Chagas disease between mice. They didn't believe that could happen so they now know more research is needed to see if humans can also get diseases/bacteria from bed bugs. I can save them the time and money smile I know of many LLMDs in California that believe bed bugs can spread Lyme. Just because there's not been enough study done regarding it doesn't mean it can't happen. Good luck!

Forum Moderator

Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 33957
   Posted 3/22/2018 8:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Minesweeper, welcome! Thanks for posting.

Are you currently treating for lyme disease?
Moderator, Lyme Forum
Symp started April/2013; Buhner's Lyme May 15-July24/14; Igenex pos. July 3/14
Doxy: July 4-Aug.24/14;Zithro July26-Aug24/14; Amox + Proben. Aug. 29/14;
added biaxin Sept. 26/14
Disc. amox,added Ceftin Nov. 20th.;
Disc. biaxin added Buhner bart herbs Dec/14;Jan/15 pulsing Tinda (w/ Ceftin);
Abx/herb break Apr-July/15; July-mino; Aug. added Rif;
Nov./15 mino - to biaxi
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