NMM/OMTOriginal Article

Lymphatic Pump Treatment as an Adjunct to Antibiotics for Pneumonia in a Rat Model

Lisa M. Hodge, PhD; Caitlin Creasy, MS; KiahRae Carter, MS; Ashley Orlowski, BS; Artur Schander, DO; and Hollis H. King, DO, PhD
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: December 23, 2014

Accepted: January 28, 2015

Published: May 1, 2015

J Osteopath Med; 115(5): 306-316

Context: Lymphatic pump treatment (LPT) is a technique used by osteopathic physicians as an adjunct to antibiotics for patients with respiratory tract infections, and previous studies have demonstrated that LPT reduces bacterial load in the lungs of rats with pneumonia. Currently, it is unknown whether LPT affects drug effcacy.

Objectives: To determine whether the combination of antibiotics and LPT would reduce bacterial load in the lungs of rats with acute pneumonia.

Methods: Rats were infected intranasally with 5×107 colony-forming units (CFU) of Streptococcus pneumoniae. At 24, 48, and 72 hours after infection, the rats received no therapy (control), 4 minutes of sham therapy, or 4 minutes of LPT, followed by subcutaneous injection of 40 mg/kg of levofoxacin or sterile phosphate-buffered saline. At 48, 72, and 96 hours after infection, the spleens and lungs were collected, and S pneumoniae CFU were enumerated. Blood was analyzed for a complete blood cell count and leukocyte differential count.

Results: At 48 and 72 hours after infection, no statistically significant differences in pulmonary CFU were found between control, sham therapy, or LPT when phosphate-buffered saline was administered; however, the reduction in CFU was statistically significant in all rats given levofoxacin. The combination of sham therapy and levofoxacin decreased bacterial load at 72 and 96 hours after infection, and LPT and levofoxacin significantly reduced CFU compared with sham therapy and levofoxacin at both time points (P<.05). Colony-forming units were not detected in the spleens at any time. No statistically significant differences in hematologic findings between any treatment groups were found at any time point measured.

Conclusions: The results suggest that 3 applications of LPT induces an additional protective mechanism when combined with levofoxacin and support its use as an adjunctive therapy for the management of pneumonia; however, the mechanism responsible for this protection is unclear.

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