Thoracic and abdominal lymphatic pump techniques inhibit the growth of S. pneumoniae bacteria in the lungs of rats

Caitlin Creasy, Artur Schander, Ashley Orlowski, Lisa M. Hodge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: Osteopathic physicians utilize manual medicine techniques called lymphatic pump techniques (LPT) to improve lymphatic flow and enhance immunity. Clinical studies report that LPT enhances antibody responses to bacterial vaccines, shortens duration of cough in patients with respiratory disease, and shortens the duration of intravenous antibiotic therapy and hospital stay in patients with pneumonia. The purpose of this study was to identify if thoracic LPT (Th-LPT) or abdominal LPT (Ab-LPT) would reduce Streptococcus pneumoniae colony-forming units (CFU) in the lungs of rats with acute pneumonia. Methods and Results: Rats were nasally infected with S. pneumoniae and received either control, sham, Ab-LPT, or Th-LPT once daily for 3 consecutive days. On day 4 post-infection, lungs were removed and bacteria were enumerated. Three daily applications of either Ab-LPT or Th-LPT were able to significantly (p<0.05) reduce the numbers of pulmonary bacteria compared to control and sham. There were no significant differences in the percentage or concentration of leukocytes in blood between groups, suggesting neither Ab-LPT nor Th-LPT release leukocytes into blood circulation. Conclusions: Our data demonstrate that LPT may protect against pneumonia by inhibiting bacterial growth in the lung; however, the mechanism of protection is unclear. Once these mechanisms are understood, LPT can be optimally applied to patients with pneumonia, which may substantially reduce morbidity, mortality, and frequency of hospitalization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-186
Number of pages4
JournalLymphatic Research and Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2013


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