Is Lyme Disease Contagious?


Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease Has Wildlife, like for example Rodents, Hedgehog and Red deer as natural reservoir inside.
The animals that represent a place of residence and multiplication for the pathogens without usually exhibiting the symptoms of borreliosis themselves are referred to as natural reservoirs.
Infested Ticks infected wild animals, the Borrelia can be transmitted, whereupon the tick itself acts as a carrier of the pathogen.

If a person is attacked by such a tick, Lyme disease breaks out in approx. 2% of cases. That means that in most cases the infection with Lyme disease occurs from a tick, mostly between 8 to 12 hours after the bite.
Mosquitoes and horseflies can only transmit the borreliosis pathogens in extremely rare cases.
In Europe, the common wood tick (Ixodes ricinus), a certain type of tick, acts as a carrier, whereas in the USA it is primarily the deer tick (Ixodes scapularis) and Ixodes pacificus that cause the disease.


The Infection of the ticks with Borrelia burgdorferi varies depending on the area, so the frequency of infection varies depending on the location.
The Frequency of infection the further you go To the south looks. For people in Brandenburg, Sachsen and Bavaria, the risk of tick borreliosis (Lyme borreliosis) is greatest in Germany. On the other hand, the risk of contracting Lyme disease is for Townspeople, especially in the metropolitan areas around the Rhine and Main extremely low. This is mainly due to the ticks' habitat, which is primarily found in fields, forests and meadows.

  • ranger
  • Forest workers
  • gardener
  • walker
    and also
  • athlete

are therefore exposed to a particularly great danger.
If you cross one Altitude limit of 1000 metersso is one Infection with borreliosis no longer possible, as ticks no longer occur at these altitudes.
Overall, Lyme disease is not particularly contagious.

Is a person with Lyme disease contagious?

If a person has become infected with Lyme borreliosis, he cannot pass it on to other people, which means that transmission from person to person is not possible.
That means the human is not contagious!
Sexual transmission is also denied by the Robert Koch Institute. However, the study situation is insufficient here. For this reason, this transmission route is also considered possible in some literature.
A transfer from the pregnant woman to the fetus is also conceivable, in which case the pregnant woman is contagious to your unborn child. This can result in stillbirth or damage to the unborn child.
Theoretically, Borrelia can also be found in blood products, which can then trigger Lyme borreliosis in the recipient. However, this way of transmission is evaluated as hardly possible.
There is practically no transmission from person to person.


The Borreliosis pathogen are about the Tick ​​bite endure on man. Once in the blood, Borrelia have the ability in Invade tissue cells and to continue to exist in the cells and to change their surface structure.

Furthermore, the pathogen is distributed in the human body via the lymph and blood paths affects organsin which it multiplies. The pathogen can repeatedly re-enter the body from the organs "infect“And provide a new episode of the disease.

In general, however, the Transmission from person to person is not possible is. This includes droplet infections, smear infections, and sexual contact. The latter transmission route is, however, controversial and is also considered possible in some studies.

In theory, Blood products (Blood transfusion for example) Borrelia can also be found if the donor (unknowingly) was infected, but the route of transmission through blood products is judged to be almost impossible.

In summary, the So human not contagious for other people and does not contribute to the spread of the disease.


The situation of the Risk of contagion is in the pregnancy however changed. About the placenta (Placenta) can cause borreliosis during pregnancy from mother to unborn child pass over.

You can also read more about this under: Tick ​​bite during pregnancy

The effects on the child are in various research studies valued differently. According to previous knowledge, maternal Lyme disease appears not with an increased risk of child harm or specific malformations to go along.

However, the pregnant woman should be used validation and Reassurance a Ultrasonic at a prenatal medical center in order to be able to diagnose any malformations that may occur.

In other studies will be Organ damage and Stillbirths linked to a maternal Lyme disease infection.
Therefore, if there is clinical suspicion of Lyme borreliosis or evidence of an infection in the blood, a antibiotic therapy be sought.
It is important that the doctor makes sure that the antibiotic is the does not harm unborn child. The remedy of choice is mostly one Penicillin preparationunless the mother is allergic to penicillin.

If Complications Due to the Lyme disease infection occurring, antibiotic therapy must be taken to be changed and another means (e.g. Ceftriaxone) can be prescribed.


Meningitis occurs at an advanced stage of the disease. First of all, a local infection occurs, which appears as reddening in the area of ​​the sting and spreads over the course.

During this time, non-specific symptoms such as fever, headache and swelling of the lymph nodes also occur.

In the course of the disease, the pathogen spreads throughout the body and affects organs. Especially the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi triggers neuroborreliosis. Meningitis develops (meningitis), which is noticeable through headache, high fever and a stiff neck.

Also the so-called Garin-Boujadoux Bannwarth Syndrome is typical: in addition to meningitis, inflammation of the nerve roots and cranial nerve failure also occur. The infestation of these structures manifests itself through the following symptoms: nerve pain, paralysis, numbness, balance disorders and dizziness, concentration difficulties and changes in personality.

Of course, there are also many unspecific symptoms such as fever or chills. This stage of the disease requires several weeks of antibiotic therapy.

Meningitis is also not contagious to other people.

Read more on the topic: Neuroborreliosis and Neuroborreliosis can be recognized by these symptoms.