Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What is the CD 57 test?

A CD57 test (created by Dr. Ray Stricker of San Francisco) doesn't give you a positive or negative. It gives you the count of the natural killer cells (white blood cells) specific to Lyme disease + co-infections. (Other diseases are designated by different #s - for instance HIV is designated by CD4.)

Generally, with the CD57 test for lyme disease + co-infections:

  • A count between 60-200 is the normal range.
  • A count between 20-60 indicates that you're dealing with chronic disease.
  • A count below 20 indicates that it's severe.

When I first took this test in '09, it was hoped that the test would become the new gold standard for diagnosing lyme disease + confections. However, with time LLMDs have found that it's not quite as reliable a metric as hoped, but still a very good indicator, taken in context with other tests and clinical presentation. A few LLMD's I know want to see a level of about 300 for at least a few months before ending treatment. It treatment stops too soon, relapses are more likely to occur.

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