February 12, 2015
CD 57 is a specific protein marker on white blood cells that is used as a clinical guide by some practitioners to assess disease status. There are many different CDs (clusters of differentiation) and they are used widely in immune studies to classify immune cell types. Each CD subset has a different immune and biochemical function in its cell types functioning.
There are many dozens of different CD types found on a variety of immune cells. Those found on T cells are labelled CD 1-8. B cells carry CD19-CD24.
CD 57 is found on a subset of natural killer T-lymphocytes. The CD57 count is used by some practitioners to assess presence of severity of Lyme infection as the cells containing this marker is thought by many to be suppressed only by the Borrelia organism. Some practitioners carrying for autism patients also report this cell line as being suppressed also. It is not clear if this represents an undiagnosed Lyme disease cohort.
Anecdotaly, some clinicians report very low levels in patients that are severely ill with active Lyme disease cases. The presumption has taken hold in the Lyme disease treating community that the actual count can then be used to tract progression or resolution of the disease.
However, other clinicians have reported high CD57 levels in patients with severe symptomatology and low CD57 levels in patients who are feeling well.
In the setting of an initially low CD 57, some clinicians report little to no change even in the face of a slowly improving clinical picture until a rather sudden increase in the levels at the complete resolution of the symptoms..
Some clinicians will continue to actively treat until the CD 57 level has reached 150 while others maintain that this exposes the patient to an unacceptable risk of relapse.
One author lists the following clinical guidelines in using CD 57 in assessing Lyme disease:
CD 57 < 20 is active and advanced Lyme disease
CD 57 20 to 60 is active Lyme disease
CD 57 greater than 60 is less active or convalescence from severe disease
CD5 57 greater than 200 is normal or resolved Lyme disease
Compendium of Tick Borne Disease, Spreen, p. 488