Dr James Schaller
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CD57 NK and Lyme Disease

The President of an infection society which only deals with tick related infections, has been treating and researching the effect of the many strains of Lyme disease on various parts of the body. One finding is that the system designed to kill cancer cells in the body does not work as well over time, if Lyme is allowed to become chronic. So if you are treated for a few weeks after missing the diagnosis for a year or years, the Lyme may undermine your cancer fighting ability. At least that is what many Lyme experts believe.

One particular cell marker has been studied in some detail by Dr. Ray Stricker. He reports that the CD57 natural killer cell number (cancer killing cells) drops with chronic under-treated Lyme disease.

Some practitioners feel this is a good tool to track improvement, and they repeat it at select intervals to mark the degree of progress.

If you want to use this test as part of your health screen, Lyme screen or to track your progress here are his instructions and references below:

  1. Call LabCorp at 1-800-888-1113. Ask for LabCorp Test # 505026, HNK (CD57) panel.
  2. As an alternative, contact Clinical Pathology Labs at 1-800-595-1275. Ask for Test # 4885, CD57 Panel for Lyme disease


  1. Stricker RB, Winger EE. Decreased CD57 lymphocyte subset in patients with chronic Lyme disease. Immunol Letters 2001;76:43-48.
  2. Stricker RB, Burrascano J, Winger E. Longterm decrease in the CD57 lymphocyte subset in a patient with chronic Lyme disease. Ann Agric Environ Med 2002;9:111-3.
  3. Stricker RB, Winger EE. Normalization of the CD57 natural killer cell subset associated with prolonged antibiotic therapy in patients with chronic Lyme disease. Clin Immunol 2002;103:S117-8.
  4. Stricker RB, Winger EE. Prognostic significance of very low CD57 natural killer cells in patients with chronic Lyme disease. Clin Invest Med 2004;27:108A.
  5. Stricker RB, Lautin A, Burrascano JJ. Lyme disease: Point/Counterpoint. Expert Rev Anti-Infect Ther 2005;3:155-65.

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