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What Is A CD57 Cell Marker?

The immune system is home to various cells, all of which have their own jobs to do when it comes to keeping the body functioning and healthy. Immune cells are broken up into several categorizations: lymphocytes, monocytes/macrophages, and neutrophils. Within the lymphocyte grouping, there are T-cells, B-cells, and natural killer cells.

 T-cells are designed to start a reaction against specific pathogens, which then signals B-cells to start creating antibodies – proteins designed to help the body fight off pathogens. Natural killer cells are then tasked with activating receptors that lead to the production of small proteins that can kill the pathogen or limit its ability to spread throughout the body. 

The immune system uses all of these cells to help keep you healthy. However, in some diseases or infections, levels of immune cells can change dramatically. One such cell is often negatively affected by disease: a natural killer cell known as CD57. But what is a CD57 cell marker? And how is it related to chronic illnesses such as Lyme disease?

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What Does It Mean To Have A Low CD57 Count?

There are several routes medical professionals can take to diagnose Lyme disease. The mainstay option is the Western blot test or an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test. These tests are used together as a two-step process to determine whether or not a person has a Lyme infection.

In some cases, the ELISA test won’t be able to return a positive diagnosis because the early stages of Lyme disease may not be caught. This is because an ELISA test looks for specific antibodies, and the immune system needs time to create those after initially contracting the bacterial infection. The Western blot, on the other hand, is used to determine if there are antibodies or traces of the bacteria’s proteins within the blood.

While these tests are typically the first port of call, another test can be used to determine whether or not a person has had Lyme disease: the CD57 blood test. But what is the CD57 blood test, and what does it mean to have a low CD57 count? 

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What Is The CD57 Test Used For?

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that occurs when a person is bitten by a tick infected with the Borrelia bacteria. The infection typically begins with flu-like symptoms, but can progress to affect various areas of the body including organs, tissues, and the nervous system. When a person is treated early for Lyme disease, their recovery chances are high. However, Lyme disease isn’t always diagnosed or caught early, which causes many people to suffer from long-term health consequences.

Various tests can be used to help diagnose Lyme disease. Typically, tests check the blood for the presence of a current infection or evidence that someone was infected at some point prior to the test. One such test that can potentially diagnose Lyme disease is the CD57 test. But what is the CD57 test used for, exactly?

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