Huan H. Nguyen,1,6* Terrence M. Tumpey,2 Hae-Jung Park,1 Young-Ho Byun,3 Linh D. Tran,4 Van D. Nguyen,4 Paul E. Kilgore,1 Cecil Czerkinsky,1 Jacqueline M. Katz,2 Baik Lin Seong,3 Jae Min Song,3 Young Bong Kim,4 Hoa T. Do,5 Tung Nguyen,5 and Cam V. Nguyen5PLoS One. 2010; 5(4): e10152.
Published online 2010 April 13. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010152.
1International Vaccine Institute, Seoul, Korea
2Influenza Division, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America
3Department of Biotechnology, College of Engineering, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea
4Department of Animal Biotechnology, College of Animal Bioscience and Technology, Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea
5National Centre for Veterinary Diagnostics, Department of Animal Health, Hanoi, Vietnam
6Department of Microbiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, United States of America
Ding Xiang Liu, Editor
Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Singapore

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Conceived and designed the experiments: HHN TMT. Performed the experiments: HHN TMT HJP YHB LDT VDN JMS HTD. Analyzed the data: HHN TMT HJP PK CC JMK BLLS YBK TN CVN. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: JMK BLLS JMS YBK TN CVN. Wrote the paper: HHN TMT PK CC JMK.

Pandemic influenza poses a serious threat to global health and the world economy. While vaccines are currently under development, passive immunization could offer an alternative strategy to prevent and treat influenza virus infection. Attempts to develop monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have been made. However, passive immunization based on mAbs may require a cocktail of mAbs with broader specificity in order to provide full protection since mAbs are generally specific for single epitopes. Chicken immunoglobulins (IgY) found in egg yolk have been used mainly for treatment of infectious diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Because the recent epidemic of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) strain H5N1 has resulted in serious economic losses to the poultry industry, many countries including Vietnam have introduced mass vaccination of poultry with H5N1 virus vaccines. We reasoned that IgY from consumable eggs available in supermarkets in Vietnam could provide protection against infections with HPAIV H5N1.

*Note: Normal Chicken IgY antibodies used in this publication were produced by Gallus Immunotech Inc.