4451049 tn?1387153437

Does Lyme really suppress the immune system??

Sorry if I have already asked this...  I'm just confused.  We all know that Lyme CAN suppress CD57 counts...  What about the rest of the immune system?  Has anyone had any other immune testing aside from the CD57 count?

So far I have had a normal IgG subclass, a normal CD56 (that represents NK cells too), a normal CD4 and CD8+.
None of the common detoxification issues typically associated with TBIs either.  No inflammation (courtesy of a normal IL6 and inflammatory markers).

Most of the infections that come along with Lyme are opportunistic aren't they?  If my immune function is okay, then I should not have any issues.  Right????  

But then why is my CD57 count so low (8).  It seems like there would be a reason.

What about the symptoms?  That is typically due to inflammation isn't it?  

My issues/history/labs and response to treatment are just not making a whole lot of since.  

I'm not an ill natured individual and I feel like I'm going crazy!  I just need more solid proof that I'm sick.  I know that I'm tired and don't feel very well.  But I can not even recall ever actually having the flu in my entire life.  Never been sick with anything other than psychological issues.

All of my labs are coming back normal aside from the CD57 count and a positive Lyme western blot. But Lyme does not make everyone sick.  And I should be one of them!  I'm thinking maybe I need to be on some psych meds rather than antibiotics.  What ya'll think?    

I would so appreciate some clarification..  Any comments would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks!!  

Beginning to think that maybe some of these test are not all that accurate.  

7 Responses
1763947 tn?1334055319
Hi, yes your immune system eventually will be bad if you have lyme. Was your western blot done at IgeneX? If you didn't, those tests are very inadequate.

My CD-57 is also 8 and I am very sick but  they are finding many people who are not sick also have low CD-57 ( not sure if as low as ours). Burascano is now speaking about the CD-57 being not as accurate and to test the CD-4. My CD-4 was abnormal last month. My LLMD never tested it before that.

I was bit 22 years ago. I was sick in those years, all these strange things were happening which I now look back and know it was because of Lyme. I was able to work until 2009 then had to stop.  I only got the correct diagnosis 2 years ago.

The inflammation may be happening inside your body. I never had flu like symptoms or a rash. My LLMD had to treat me for some co-infections based on symptoms and not test results even with IgeneX.

Do you have an LLMD?
Avatar universal
There are two immune systems in our bodies:
Acquired and Innate.

What are some illnesses that can weaken the immune system?
Multiple myeloma
Primary Immune Deficiency disorders (such as Common Variable Immune Deficiency)
Humoral (antibody) immunity problems (such as agammaglobulinemia or lack of normal antibodies)
Some people with severe autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) may have significant immune system suppression
What else could cause a weakened immune system?
Immunosuppressive medications or other treatments such as:

High-dose oral or intravenous steroid therapy for 2 weeks or longer within the past month. (For example, with prednisone, =2mg/kg per day for 2 weeks or longer within the past month is considered immunosuppressive.)
Cancer chemotherapy agents within the past 3 months
Radiation therapy within the past 3 months.
Organ or bone marrow transplant
Medications that suppress the immune system, including steroids, some drugs for autoimmune disease, or drugs taken in association with an organ or bone marrow transplant (consult your health care provider)


Tests used to help diagnose an immunodeficiency disorder may include:

Complement levels in the blood, or other tests to measure substances released by the immune system
HIV test
Immunoglobulin levels in the blood
Protein electrophoresis (blood or urine)
T (thymus derived) lymphocyte count
White blood cell count

Dr Stricker is a hematologist and an immunologist.

ActionLyme.org has a lot about the immune system, if you can figure out what she's talking about.
4451049 tn?1387153437
Thanks for the responses!

Yes, my western blot was done via IGenex and I was CDC positive.  I just tested IgG positive for mycoplasma via Quest (not sure of the accuracy).  And of course Babesia and Bartonella were negative.

I just thought that my CD57 count was a little out of proportion to the rest of my immune system.  As I mentioned, my CD56 is fine and it's the same type of cell. I think those represent immature natural killer cells, but I'm not sure.    

What is the CD4 suppose to tell doctors?  Just how sick we are?  If at all, or?  According to that I am fine.  But my CD57 says I'm really sick. So confusing.

Yes I am seeing an LLMD.  I began treatment without any test results.  However, I did not want to commit to medications for lengthy amounts of time without some sort of evidence.  And unfortunately my response to treatment is not giving me any leads.  

I was just curious what it is that Lyme does to our immune system.  Because my overall immune system is fine despite being a chronic case.  
5792451 tn?1390934690
I haven't had my CD57 tested, or any CD's for that matter lol, but my WBC count has dropped from 14.8 (during first "flare") to 3.7 during the last year. My dr explained that indicated my immune system gave up from being overworked.
1763947 tn?1334055319
Since you are CDC positive, as I am, you can be sure that your immune system will be lowered eventually.  By the time I got my diagnosis, 20 years after getting bit, pretty much all my blood work was abnormal.

IgeneX told me they don't test for mycoplasma. They tell you to try a regular lab which is where I got my positive result.

Actually my fiancée has been in the hospital with 2 strains of MRSA. He is in DC so he had a specialist come from Johns Hopkins to care for him. That Dr is looking at his CD-57 as to the functioning of his immune system.  I don't know what the CD-56 shows but the CD-4 is suppose to also show how your immune system is. It is very confusing. For me, my CD-57 has been = to how I feel.

As for Bartonella and Babesia, most LLMD treat based on symptoms because even with IgeneX, the results aren't always correct. The low WBC also shows if infection is present as it will be low if infection is present.
4451049 tn?1387153437
Thanks!  That's interesting!  

It is very confusing!  And my verbal communication skills are so poor that I'm not doing very well in communicating with my LLMD.  I could write a book.  But my verbal communication skills are just horrible!

All of my labs are basically normal except for the CD57 count.  This is the only thing that = the way I feel.  The rest = the way I should be- perfectly healthy.

The CD56 I had done to rule out ME/CFS prior to the positive Lyme result.  I guess it is the CD56 that is said to be affected in these individuals.

I got my positive mycoplasma result through a normal lab.  I'm just confused as to whether or not it is pathogenetic in healthy people.  I don't have an immunodeficiency, apparently.  But think it could be a contributing factor in my illness??  What is Chlamydia pneumoniae?  Is it the same as Mycoplasma?  I could read all day long about these two, but I just don't get it.

Everything is so confusing.  TBIs are confusing.  
1763947 tn?1334055319
I just did a Wikipedia search. If you do that, you can see the difference between the chlamydia pneumonia and the mycoplasma. My Lyme brain is very bad to be able to explain it b/c it's very complicated.

I was positive for lupus, MS and several other things but since Lyme imitates these illnesses, my LLMD knew I had Lyme before my tests came back 2 years ago.

I would urge you to treat the Lyme and mycoplasma because then you won't be in my situation with congestive heart failure from the mycoplasma, lesions in my brain from Bartonella and had to have a hip replaced very young due to lyme.
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Lyme Disease Community

Top Infectious Diseases Answerers
1415174 tn?1453243103
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Fearing autism, many parents aren't vaccinating their kids. Can doctors reverse this dangerous trend?
Can HIV be transmitted through this sexual activity? Dr. Jose Gonzalez-Garcia answers this commonly-asked question.
A breakthrough study discovers how to reduce risk of HIV transmission by 95 percent.
Dr. Jose Gonzalez-Garcia provides insight to the most commonly asked question about the transfer of HIV between partners.
Before your drop a dime at the pharmacy, find out if these popular cold and flu home remedies are a wonder or a waste
Fend off colds and the flu with these disease-fighting foods