Diagnosis for Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a
"clinical" diagnosis (like depression), which requires a knowledgeable “Lyme-literate” doctor to piece together the clues. Diagnostic tests are to support a
In early 2012 it
was not possible to get a diffinitive diagnosis through a regular doctor. The
reason? The IDSA (Infectious Disease Society of America requires a two-tiered blood test for diagnosing Lyme that
according to the CDC routinely misses 90% or more of those who are infected.
However as of 8/1/2012, there is an accurate culture
that has been developed with the assistance of Dr. Burrascano which is accurate in all cases except where the
sample is tainted. See Advanced Laboratory Services Spirochete Culture.
If you can ask for a
test, the ITT/Cytokine test by Neurosciences called "My Lyme Immune ID" test. Read about it here. Dr. Chitra Bhakta describes applications of the MY Lyme Immune I.D. test
in her practice below.
For the most detailed
information on how to diagnose Lyme disease see: Dr. Burrascano's
Lyme Treatment Guidelines. These were updated in 2008 however, you must have Adobe free reader
installed to download the file. You can download your free Adobe reader here.
CD-57 – Research breakthroughs by Dr Joseph
Burrascano and Dr. Ray Stricker, Directors of ILADS (International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society) and
long-time medical practitioners’, have shown a correlation between the CD-57 fighter cells and Lyme disease.
This is how it works:
Chronic Lyme infections are known to suppress the immune system.
The Lyme spirochete can affect all major cell types of the immune system, but it most
clearly can impact a specific subset of the natural killer cells. This is called the CD-57 subset, and is part of
the immune system which fights cancer. (Indeed the specialists who have been
studying this correlation fear that chronic Lyme may undermine the body’s cancer fighting
Just as in HIV
infection, which suppresses T-cell counts, Lyme suppresses Natural killer cell count such as CD57. As in HIV
infection, where abnormally low T-cell counts are routinely used as a marker of how active the infection is, in
Lyme disease we can use the CD-57 count to indicate how
active the Lyme infection is. When Lyme is active, the CD-57 count is low.
According to Dr. Burrascano and Dr.
Stricker, low CD57 occurs in chronic Lyme or when the disease has been active for over 1 year. Often reffered
to as the Stricker/Burrascano panel, the count reflects the degree of
* 0 - 60 indicates severe
* 60 - 100 the range for most chronic Lyme
* 100 - 200 may show improvement, still requires
* >200 is normal and safe to stop treatment without
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
- Call LabCorp at 1-800-888-1113. Ask for
LabCorp Test # 505026, HNK (CD57) panel.
- As an alternative, contact Clinical Pathology
Labs at 1-800-595-1275. Ask for Test # 4885, CD57 Panel for Lyme disease
PCR - The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a technique widely used in molecular
biology, and is part of the Western Blot. However, there are many other
sensitive PCR tests which can be used to identify infectious diseases including Chlamydia Pneumoniae, Secondary Porphyria and
Immunoserology – Immunosciences Lab is now
providing a series of panels which appear to be more sensitive than the Western Blot, and test for more sub-species
antibodies and co-infections. Time will tell whether or not these panels will be helpful. For more information
see http://www.immuno-sci-lab.com/The%20Immunoserology%20of%20Lyme.pdf or http://www.immuno-sci-lab.com
Another new test
called VCS delivered by Dr. Shoemaker - Read about it here: http://www.chronicneurotoxins.com/learnmore/lymedisease.cfm
Important Notes on
- Fewer than 50%
of LD patients recall a tick bite or rash.
- Lyme disease is
greatly complicated by dozens of co-infections .
- Lyme spirochetes
can penetrate the central nervous system within 24 hours of tick bite according to Dr. Coyle at Stony Brook
- Sometimes people
don't get symptoms for years after they are bitten, so they don't realize they are
- A 1998 Swiss
study showed that only 12.5 percent of Bb positive patients had symptoms.