Chicken IgY – Benefits
In birds, the major immunoglobulin is termed IgY and is found in both serum and egg yolk. In general, Chicken is the species widely accepted and characterized for IgY production. For many reasons, IgY has become more prevalent in current scientific research and publications. The characteristics of Immunoglobulin Y have many benefits over some other commonly used antibodies in the area of medical research.
Technical advantages are the major reasons a researcher would select an IgY. The advantages include better labeling efficiency, low background, high affinity, and reduced cross reactivity. Chicken IgY’s have increased glycosylation compared to IgG, giving rise to increased labeling efficiency in coupling procedures such as with HRP, AP, FITC, and other antibody label chemistries that target carbohydrates on antibodies. The ability to increase the amount of label per antibody gives rise to a more sensitive assay. In addition, it has been observed that the antibody response is greater as the phylogenetic distance between the immunized animal and the species from which the antigen is derived. As chickens are phylogeneticallymore distant from human than rabbits, goats, and mice, they typically see mammalian gene products as foreign and mount strong immune responses. Mammalian protein antigens are less homologous than avian proteins and have stronger immunogenicity. Chicken antibodies can be utilized in conjunction with other species, such as mouse and rabbit, without cross reactivity affects. As IgY is purified from eggs and there is no need for restraining and drawing blood,production of Chicken IgY is less invasive than that of Rabbit and Goat. IgY antibodies do not contain an Fc domain which provides several advantages, mainly the reduction of false positives due to rheumatoid factors or other proteins that bind Fc regions.
Although the discovery of IgY is not recent, there acceptance in medical research is becoming more common as researchers and industry realize their benefits. Although GenWay is a leader in the production and sale of recombinant proteins, antibodies, and ELISA kits, the company is well known as an industry leader in development, production, and supply of Chicken Immunoglobulin Y products.