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Isolation and Characterization of IgM and IgY Antibodies from Plasma of Magellanic Penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus).

Posted by on in 2015
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Infectious diseases such as aspergillosis, avian malaria, and viral infections are significant threats to the conservation of penguins, leading to morbidity and mortality of these birds both in captivity and in the wild. The immune response to such infectious diseases is dependent on different mechanisms mediated by cells and soluble components such as antibodies. Antibodies or immunoglobulins are glycoproteins that have many structural and functional features that mediate distinct effector immune functions. Three distinct classes of antibodies have been identified in birds: immunoglobulin A (IgA), immunoglobulin M (IgM), and immunoglobulin Y (IgY). In this study we aim to establish an efficient laboratory method to obtain IgM and IgY antibodies from plasma samples of healthy adult Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus). The protocol was developed combining plasma delipidation, sequential precipitation with caprylic acid and ammonium sulfate, and size-exclusion chromatography. The efficiency of the protocol and the identity of the purified IgM and IgY antibodies were confirmed through enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, Western blotting, one-dimensional and two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and lectin binding assay. Structural and physicochemical properties of IgM and IgY from Magellanic penguins were consistent with those of other avian species. This purification protocol will allow for more detailed studies on the humoral immunity of penguins and for the development of high specificity serologic assays to test Magellanic penguins for infectious pathogens.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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