Enhancing Pneumonia-Fighting Antibiotics with Additional Treatment

During a time when antibiotic resistance concerns are at an all-time high, a Texas-based team called for backup in the fight against pneumonia.

During a time when antibiotic resistance concerns are at an all-time high, a Texas-based team called for backup in the fight against pneumonia.

A study revealed that lymphatic pump treatment (LPT) can help enhance antibiotics used for the lung infection. Often used by doctors of osteopathic medicine (DOs) to boost lymph flow in the lymphatic system, LPT is typically used to increase vaccine-specific antibodies. Lead author Lisa M. Hodge, PhD, and her University of North Texas Health Science Center colleagues evaluated how LPT works in a different scenario.

“Osteopathic physicians have long used LPT to help treat and prevent infection," Hodge, an associate professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Immunology at UNT, said in a news release. “This study is the first of its kind to finally link LPT to improved drug efficacy.”

Using infected rats, the team administered LPT 3 times a day paired with injections of a pneumonia antibiotic, levofloxacin. The study revealed that at the 96-hour mark, over 60% of the rats who received LPT were disease free while only 25% could be said about the ones that only had the antibiotic.

Published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, the results suggest that LPT can remove the bacteria populated in the lungs while also increasing the effectiveness of antibiotics.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that pneumonia is the number one cause of death in children under the age of 5 worldwide. Therefore, this research offers an expansion on treatment against the deadly infection.

"This objective study supports findings reported by DOs for decades and should encourage physicians to combine OMT techniques with antibiotic treatment for patients with pneumonia," Hodge said.