Breithaupt T, Harris K, Ellis J, Purcell E, Weir J, Clothier M, Boesler D. Thoracic lymphatic pumping and the efficacy of influenza vaccination in healthy young and elderly populations. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2001;101(1):21–25. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2001.101.1.21.
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The authors investigated whether thoracic lymphatic pumping (TLP) after FluShield vaccination enhanced the production of anti-influenza immunoglobulins in elderly individuals, who are at particular risk for influenza. Osteopathic students and non-TLP-treated elderly subjects served as controls. Serum antibody titers were quantified with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and hemagglutination inhibition assay, both of which generated comparable results. While approximately 70% of the younger controls had increased anti-influenza immunoglobulin production on vaccination, only 30% to 35% of the aged population had increased antibody production. There was no significant enhancement in anti-influenza immunoglobulin production in the TLP-treated subjects. The authors' findings suggest that TLP in conjunction with influenza vaccination does not enhance immunization against influenza in otherwise healthy and active populations. However, such techniques may be of value when applied in conjunction with vaccination to nonambulatory patients or on actual influenza exposure of at-risk individuals.
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