Egg immunogobulins (IgY): An alternative control strategy for chicken coccidiosis

D. Vijay, M. Raman and V. Gowthaman
Department of Veterinary Parasitology
Veterinary College and Research Institute Namakkal-637 002 Tamil Nadu

Chickens are one of the best antibody producers in the world. They lay a "golden egg" filled with antibodies almost every day. The multiorgan configuration status of birds allows a stronger response to antigen. The use of egg antibodies (IgY) to prevent or treat disease is a novel and exciting application of egg technology. IgY-being a source of polyclonal antibody is natural with multiple pathogen-binding sites and has an edge over the genetically engineered monoclonal antibodies and antibiotic that works by altering the growth chemistry of the pathogen (Coleman, 2000). The pathogens cannot mutate against this type of antibodies because they are captured, not altered. In addition to its non-invasive and less expensive nature, they exhibit great acid and heat resistance. IgY also prevents the entry of virus, fungus, bacterium or protozoa from adhering, replicating or translocating into portal system to cause systemic diseases. Encouraging results have been obtained using IgY against surface infections causing intestinal disorders of human beings and infection such as mastitis (Streptococcus / Staphylococcus) in cow proving its potential for acting on organism remote of their application. In the present investigation, hybrid grower birds of 16-18 weeks were immunized with oocyst of Eimeria necatrix . The egg immunoglobulins were harvested by water dilution method ( Akita and Nakai, 2000) and characterized. In-vitro assay revealed a marked reduction in sporulation index of oocyst and reduced biotic potential of the sporulated oocysts compared to untreated control. Reduced lesions were observed in treated birds. Inspite of its proven potency against various infectious agents of mammals, the full potential of the egg antibodies are yet to be exploited.

Source : IPSACON-2005

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