With the growing emergence of pan-drug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (PDR-Ab) strains in clinical, new strategies for the treatment of PDR-Ab infections are urgently needed. Egg yolk immunoglobulin (IgY) as a convenient and inexpensive antibody has been widely applied to the therapy of infectious diseases. The aim of this study was to produce IgY specific to PDR-Ab and investigate its antibacterial effects in vitro and in vivo. IgYs specific to two PDR-Ab strains were produced by immunizing hens with formaldehyde inactivated PDR-Ab cells and isolated from yolks with a purity of 90% by water dilution, salt precipitations and ultrafiltration. IgYs showed high titers when subjected to an ELISA and inhibited the growth of PDR-Ab in a dose-dependent manner in liquid medium. Scanning electron microscopy assay showed structural modification and aggregation of PDR-Ab treated with specific IgYs. Freshly cultured PDR-Ab cells were nasally inhaled in BALB/c mice to induce acute pneumonia. The infected mice were intraperitoneally injected with specific IgYs using cefoperazone/sulbactam and dexamethasone as positive controls. The IgYs specific to PDR-Ab lowered the mortality of mice with PDR-Ab-induced acute pneumonia, decreased the level of TNF-α and IL-1β in serum and reduced inflammation in lung tissue. Specific IgY has the potential to be used as a new therapeutic approach for the treatment of A. baumannii-induced infections.
A. baumannii; Acute pneumonia; Egg yolk immunoglobulin; Pan-drug-resistance