Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Animal Biosciences & Biotechnology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #326842

Title: Hyperimmune IgY technology and its potential application for antibiotic free poultry production

item Lillehoj, Hyun
item GADDE, U - US Department Of Agriculture (USDA)

Submitted to: Poultry Science Association Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/10/2016
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Modern poultry industry is constantly on the lookout for novel drug-free disease prevention strategies. With the increase in regulations on the use of antibiotic growth promoters and rise in consumer demand for poultry products from ‘Antibiotic Free’ or ‘No Antibiotics Ever’ flocks, the quest for alternative approaches intensified in the recent years. Successful strategies developed as antibiotic alternatives should be both safe for humans and animals, be easily administered, economically feasible and have significant beneficial impact on health and performance. Passive immunization with pathogen-specific egg yolk antibodies (IgY) is one such potential alternative. Laying hens are hyperimmunized with specific antigens at regular intervals to induce continuous deposition of antibodies into the egg yolks. The polyclonal antibodies can be collected noninvasively from egg yolks and used for oral passive immunization. The use of IgY offers several advantages in that it is safe, environmental friendly and nontoxic. IgY technology can be easily adapted to the current poultry industry needs as these antibodies can be purified easily, spray dried and mixed in feed for mass application without any risk. A single hen can produce more than 350 eggs in her lifetime thus providing a continuous supply of large quantities of the antibodies. IgY antibodies have been successfully employed in the prophylaxis and treatment of various enteric infections in food animals such as swine and cattle and in poultry.