Células asesinas (Natural Killer) CD57+ CD56+ CD3-

(Tests temporarily unavailable to U.S. residents since March 2020)

El número de células CD57 indica hasta que punto está suprimido el sistema inmune a causa de la enfermedad de Lyme Crónico. Basándonos en la literatura actual, las células CD57 son parámetros clínicos que sirven para pronosticar la evolución de la enfermedad de Lyme durante y después de finalizar el tratamiento.

COVID19: CD3+/CD56+/CD57+ Important markers for the immune status

The elderly and patients with underlying medical problems such as high blood pressure, cardiac issues, diabetes, cancer, another active infection and/or those with immunosuppression are more likely to suffer from more severe symptoms from COVID-19 [1],[2],[3],[4].

In suspected cases we therefore recommend additional testing of the innate (CD3+) and natural killer cells (CD56+/CD57+).

Die Bestimmung der CD3+/CD56+/CD57+ NK Zellen Hinweise auf:

  • Akute Virale Infektionen
  • Chronisch Virale Infektionen
  • Bakterielle Infektionen
  • Immundefekte
  • Immunstimulation

Required material: Please draw 1 x EDTA-tube and 1 x Heparin-tube (both are included in your testkit - do not cool or centrifuge)

Lymphocytes develop from precursor cells located in the bone marrow. B-cells (bone marrow) and natural killer cells (NK) migrate from there directly to the periphery. T cells (thymus), on the other hand, migrate from the bone marrow into the thymus, where they undergo positive and negative selection. They develop into naive T cells that have not yet had antigen contact and patrol between blood and lymphatic tissues. Natural killer T-cells are another T-cell line that develops in the thymus and has another receptor besides the T-cell receptor that recognises glycolipid antigens of bacterial origin.

T cells (CD3+ lymphocytes) recognize antigens by means of their T cell receptor and the cofactor CD3 and induce or regulate the innate immune defense. T cells are increased in viral (e.g. rubella) and bacterial (in the overcoming phase) infections as well as fungal infections (e.g. pneumocystis, candida), typhoid, T-cell leukemia and lymphomas and in smokers. Reduced T-cells are found in congenital (DiGeorge syndrome, SCID, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, Ataxia teleangiektasia/LouisBar syndrome) and acquired (malignant diseases, infectious diseases, e.g. AIDS, tuberculosis), immune defects, after radiation and medication with immunsuppressants (e.g. e.g. glucocorticoids), cytostatics or steroids, in chronic liver diseases (e.g. liver cirrhosis, alcohol-related and non-alcohol-related steatohepatitis, hepatitis C), burns, SLE and other autoimmune diseases, Cushing's syndrome, renal failure and iron deficiency anemia.

Natural killer cells (NK cells, CD3+/CD16+/CD56+/CD57+) are effector cells of the innate immune system. They kill tumour cells and virus-infected body cells by triggering their apoptosis. Elevated NK cells are found in viral infections, mycoplasma infections or after drug-related immune stimulation as well as in NK cell leukaemia (rare). Decreased NK cells are found in progressive tumour growth, in smokers, during physical exercise and during a low-calorie diet.

CD57+ cells as a subset of NK cells can be increased in chronic viral infections with e.g. CMV, HIV, Hepatitis C, Epstein Barr virus.


[1] Okba et al. medRxiv 2020.03.18.20038059; doi: 10.1101/2020.03.18.20038059; März 2020
[2] Risk of COVID-19 for patients with cancer; Hanping Wang, Li Zhang; Published:March 03, 2020
[3] The Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Threat for Patients with Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer; Sarju Ganatra, MD, Sarah P. Hammond, MD, Anju Nohria, MD; 18 March 2020
[4] T.M. Rickabaugh, R.D. Kilpatrick, L.E. Hultin et al.: The dual Impact of HIV-1 infection and aging on naïve CD4+ T-cells: additive and distinct patterns of impairment. PLoS One, 2011, 6(1) e16459.

Additional References:

• S. Kohler, A. Thiel: Life after the thymus: CD31+ and CD31- human naïve T cell subsets. Blood, 2009, 113(4): 769-74
• A. Stelmaszczyk-Emmel, A. Zawadzka-Krajewska, A-Szypowska et al.: Frequency and Activation of CD4+CD25highFoxP3+ regulatory T cells in peripheral blood from children with atopic allergy. Int Arch Allery Immunol, 2013, 162(1): 16-24.
• A. Boleslawski, S.B. Othman, L. Aoudjehane et al.: CD28 expression by peripheral blood lymphocytes as a potential predictor of the development of de novo malignancies in long-term survivors after liver transplantation. Liver Transpl, 2011, 17(3): 299-305. 5. V. Appay, R.A. van Lier, F. Sallusto et al.: Phenotype and function of human T lymphocyte subsets: consensus and issues. Cytometry A, 2008, 73(11): 975-83.
• C.M. Nielsen, M.J. White, M.R. Goodier, E.M. Riley, Functional siginificance of CD57 expression on human NK cells and relevance to disease, Front Immunol. 2013; 4: 422

Estudios de investigación clínica y estudios de caso han demostrado que las infecciones por Lyme Crónico suelen comportar cambios en la respuesta inmune celular. Prueba de ello es una disminución del número de células Natural Killer (NK/CD3-CD56+), pero sobre todo la disminución del número total de las células NK activadas (CD3-CD56+CD57+). Mientras que la infección aguda por Borrelia burgdorferi y otras enfermedades muestran un número normal de células CD57, los pacientes de Lyme Crónico suelen tener un número de células CD57 menor a 100/ µl.
En estudios científicos, se ha observado una disminución de las células absolutas CD57 principalmente en pacientes con afectación en el sistema nervioso y no en pacientes con afectación en los tejidos o sistema esquelético. La disminución en las células CD57 se observa hasta que se consigue una mejoría sintomática debido al tratamiento con antibióticos u otros tipos de tratamientos. A la inversa, la disminución de las células CD57 se considera una manera para poder medir la infección activa por Borrelia y también como posible indicador del éxito de un tratamiento.