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Antibacterial activity of egg yolk antibody (IgY) against Listeria monocytogenes and preliminary evaluation of its potential for food preservation.

Posted by on in 2011
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Sui JCao LLin H. 2011. J Sci Food Agric. 91(11):1946-50.

Food Safety Laboratory, Ocean University of China, Qingdao, China.


Egg yolk antibody (IgY) is a unique type of immunoglobulin found in egg yolks, and many reports have described its ability to inhibit corresponding antigen bacteria. The objective of this study was to evaluate the antibacterial activity of IgY specific to Listeria monocytogenes, an important food pathogen to both humans and animals, as well as its potential use for food preservation.

Specific IgY was generated by immunising Leghorn chickens with whole cells of L. monocytogenes, and its inhibitory effect on bacterial growth was tested in liquid medium and food samples. After 8 h of incubation with specific IgY, there was a significant decrease in the growth (absorbance at 600 nm) of L. monocytogenes in comparison with controls. IgY also inhibited the growth of L. monocytogenes inoculated onto fresh or smoked salmon samples. Compared with those of blanks, numbers of L. monocytogenes were reduced by more than 2 log units after 15 days of storage at 6 ± 1 °C in the presence of specific IgY.

The results suggest the potential application of specific IgY as a natural antimicrobial agent for food preservation.

Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry.

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