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Effectiveness of egg yolk immunoglobulin against the intracellular salmonid pathogen Piscirickettsia salmonis.

Posted by on in 2015
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Oliver C1Valenzuela K1Silva H1Haro RE1Cortés M1Sandoval R1Pontigo JP1Álvarez C1Figueroa JE1,2Avendaño-Herrera R2,3,4Troncoso JM5Yáñez AJ1,2. 2015. J Appl Microbiol. 119(2):365-76. doi: 10.1111/jam.12857. Epub 2015 Jun 25.

  • 1Instituto de Bioquímica y Microbiología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile.
  • 2Interdisciplinary Center for Aquaculture Research (INCAR), Concepción, Chile.
  • 3Laboratorio de Patología de Organismos Acuáticos y Biotecnología Acuícola, Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Andrés Bello, Viña del Mar, Chile.
  • 4Centro de Investigación Marina Quintay (CIMARQ), Quintay, Chile.
  • 5EWOS Innovation Chile, Calbuco, Chile.



To produce and characterize egg yolk immunoglobulin (IgY) against the fish intracellular pathogen Piscirickettsia salmonis as well as to evaluate the antibacterial activity of IgY in vitro and the availability in the serum of fish immunized orally.


Specific IgY was produced by immunizing hens with P. salmonis proteins. The IgY was obtained from egg yolks using the ammonium sulphate precipitation method and it was characterized by SDS-PAGE, Western-blot and ELISA, demonstrating that anti-P. salmonisIgY strongly reacted specifically against P. salmonis proteins. In an in vitro neutralization assay, IgY inhibited the growth of P. salmonis in liquid medium at concentrations ranging from 128 to 256 μg ml(-1) in a dose-dependent manner. Interestingly, IgY against P. salmonis also generates a strong protective effect on the infection of P. salmonis in salmon head kidney-1 cells. In addition, the bacteriostatic function of IgY appears to result possibly from agglutination by the interaction of IgY with surface components of the pathogen. Finally, to confirm this IgY as an alternative for salmonid treatment, Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) specimens were orally inoculated with IgY. The analysis of the sera demonstrates that IgY was effectively transported by fish intestine and that this immunoglobulins maintains its properties and recognizes several proteins of P. salmonis up to 12 h after inoculation of IgY against P. salmonis.


Specific IgY effectively inhibited the growth of P. salmonis and this immunoglobulin can be released in the Atlantic salmon sera when administered orally to fish.


We propose that this specific IgY against this fastidious micro-organism could be a useful strategy for the treatment of piscirickettsiosis.

© 2015 The Society for Applied Microbiology.


IgY; Piscirickettsia salmonis; chicken egg yolk; growth inhibition; immunoglobulin; piscirickettsiosis

[PubMed - in process]
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