Another possible method to judge the cellular immune system is the evaluation of the quantity of specific NK cells (natural killer cells) and of subordinates of natural killer cells. This is already used to evaluate the stability of the immune system on CD56-NK cells for HIV-patients.  At the very least, this allows us to recognise whether there is or is not an immune defect (weakness) at a specific place of the cellular immune system. Therefore, we recommend the determination of CD57-NK cells. There is no consensus and also another opinion.

Further studies are necessary in order to improve the informative value.  A functional test (because it is not just the quantity that is important) of those NK cells and/or determination of other NK cells (other CD-patterns) could be helpful. Finally, an analysis might be useful to evaluate whether there are additional infections (such as chlamydia, mycoplama, yersinia, ehrlichia, babesia and bartonella) that might also cause the decrease of CD57-NK-cells).


Some studies on this topic:

  • Stricker RB, Winger EE: Normalization of the CD57 natural killer cell subset associates with prolonged antibiotictherapy in patients with chronic Lyme disease, J. Clin. Immunol. 103 (2002), 117-18
  • Stricker RB, Winger EE: Decreased CD57 lymphocyte subset in patients with chronic Lyme disease. Immunology Letters 76 (2001), 43-48
  • Stricker RB, Burrascano JJ, Winger EE: Longterm decrease in the CD57 lymphocyte subset in patients with chronic Lyme disease, Ann Agric Envion Med 9 (2002), 111-113
  • Sincovics JG, Horvarth JC: Human natural killer cells: A comprehensive review, International Journal of Oncology 27 (2005), 5-47
  • Focosi D, Petrini M: CD57 Expression on Lymphoma Microenviroment as a New Prognostic Marker Related to Immune Dysfunction; Journal of clinical oncology: official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology 25:10 2007 Apr 1 pg 1289-91; author reply 1291-2
  • Focosi D, Bestagno M, Borrone O, Petrini M: CD57 T-Lymphocytes and functional immune deficiency, Journal of Leukocyte Biology Volume 87 (2010), no 1, 107-16


Further reading: CD57-Zellen and more, here!