The ECP Test and Babesia
James Schaller, MD
Currently, most physicians have rejected a tradition in medicine on how to diagnose. Simply, in the past a physician only used lab tests to confirm what was highly suspected after an exceptional conversation with a patient (patient history) and a physical exam. That has typically been changed to a full reliance on lab testing to determine most disease states.
The ECP test was originally published in our functional cancer cure for HES. Eosinophils, the wildly reproducing parasite-killing immune cells, were likely activated by Babesia but this fact had been missed by over 150 physicians.
In our Babesia 2009 Update, which is still not part of routine tick infection medicine, we proposed that the results of the ECP lab test might help in looking at the indirect imprint of Babesia and Bartonella. For example, if you lie down on a special memory foam bed and get up, you will still see for 10 seconds the outline of a human body—it is not the shape of a dog, monkey or fish. It is the shape of a human and that is strong indirect evidence that a human had laid down on the foam.
In the same way, in the Babesia 2009 Update, we mentioned a battery of lab tests that were derived from the research of other pure researchers and our findings. We found that certain patterns emerged in various tests if a person had only Bartonella, or only Babesia, or both. Most of our patients had both, and I do not agree that you can send any blood sample to any lab in the world and be sure they will diagnose these infections. Indeed, most virtually never detect them.
These indirect tests also can show signs of effective killing of Babesia and Bartonella organisms. These labs are IL-6, IL-1B, TNF-A, VEGF and ECP—Eosinophil Cationic Protein. ECP is the substance used by eosinophils to literally kill large parasites.
The Current Use of ECP
The first problem I noticed was it appeared healers did not read the book,or if they read it, they did not really do more than skim the book. Why do I say this? They seldom ordered all the labs recommended. Further, it seemed as if they believed the ECP test could be used to determine if someone had Babesia or to rule it out.
The problem with this approach is that many people with a severe Babesia infection have a fully normal ECP level. Eosinophils kill large parasites and not single-celled organisms like Babesia. At times, a patient might develop a high ECP level only after full treatment. Further, the range for the measure has changed from 2-10 as the norm, to other ranges that are much wider. We are still determining if it is useful to track that “normal” level to determine if treatment is working.
In summary, the ECP level is merely one of many indirect lab tests to assist in diagnosis. It is not meant to be done alone. It is also not meant to be done in isolation from learning the patient’s history. This is one reason we wrote the book Checklists for Bartonella, Babesia and Lyme Disease.
I wish all readers and healers success in health.