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Comparative study on immunoglobulin Y transfer from breeding hens to egg yolk and progeny chicks in different breeds of poultry.

Posted by on in 2016
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Agrawal R1Hirpurkar SD1Sannat C1Gupta AK12016. Vet World. 9(4):425-31. doi: 10.14202/vetworld.2016.425-431. Epub 2016 Apr 30.

Department of Veterinary Microbiology, College of Veterinary Science & Animal Husbandry, Anjora, Durg, Chhattisgarh, India.



This study was undertaken to compare the immunoglobulin Y (IgY) level and its efficacy in laying hens of four different breeds of poultry (viz., Vanraja, Gramapriya, BlackRock, and KalingaBrown) and its relative transfer in egg yolk and chick.


This study was conducted in 48 apparently healthy laying hens vaccinated with Salmonella inactivated polyvalent vaccine, eggs and progeny chicks; 12 each from four different breeds of poultry, viz., Vanraja, Gramapriya, BlackRock, and KalingaBrown. The methodology included measurement of egg and yolk weight, total protein and IgY in egg yolk, total serum protein and IgY in breeding hens, and progeny chicks and extent of IgY transfer from hens to yolk then to chicks. Further, Salmonella-specific antibodies in breeding hens, egg yolk and progeny chicks were assessed using O and H antigen by tube agglutination test.


The egg weight differed nonsignificantly (p>0.05) among breeds, however, breed wise significant variation (p<0.01) was reported in yolk weight. The weight of egg yolk significantly affects the total protein and IgY concentration although these levels per unit of volume did not differ. Total protein was significantly higher (p<0.01) in KalingaBrown and Gramapriya as compared to Vanraja and BlackRock. Non-significant (p>0.05) difference among breed was found in total protein of egg yolk and chick. The IgY concentration in hens, egg yolk and chick was found to be in the range of 5.35±0.63-5.83±0.65, 2.3±0.1-2.6±0.2, and 1.3±0.11-1.7±0.16 mg/ml, respectively which is uniform and independent of total protein concentration at all the three levels. Significant breed variations were not observed in maternal IgY transfer from breeding hens to chicks and were 25.62±1.42-36.06±4.34% of total IgY in parent flock. Moderate to higher rate of seroprevalence with peak titers of 1:640 against Salmonella-specific antibodies was observed in only 41.6% of breeding hens.


No significant difference in the rate of transfer of IgY was observed in four breeds studied (viz., Vanraja, Gramapriya, BlackRock, and KalingaBrown) and moderate seropositivity was detected for Salmonella-specific antibodies in progeny chicks.


Salmonella antibody; breeding hens; chicks; maternal immunoglobulin Y; yolk

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