State Key Laboratory of Pathogens and Biosecurity, Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, No. 20 Dongdajie, Fengtai District, Beijing 100071, People's Republic of China.
Shiga toxins produced by Escherichia coli O157:H7 cause a wide spectrum of enteric diseases, such as lethal hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic uremic syndrome. In this study, the B subunit protein of Shiga toxin type 1 (Stx1) was produced in the E. coli system, was further purified by Ni-column Affinity Chromatography method, and was then used as an immunogen to immunize laying hens for yolk immunoglobulin (IgY) production. Titers of IgY increased gradually with boosting vaccination and, finally, reached a level of 105, remaining steady over 1 year. Then the protective efficacy of IgY against Stx1 was evaluated by in vitro and in vivo experiments. It was shown that the anti-Stx1 IgY could effectively block the binding of Stx1 to the Hela cells and could protect BALB/c mice from toxin challenges. The data indicates the facility of using egg yolk IgY as a therapeutic intervention in cases of Shiga toxin intoxication.