J Immunol Methods. 2005 Feb;297(1-2):253-7. Epub 2005 Jan 11.
Department of Medical Parasitology, Clinical Institute of Hygiene and Medical Microbiology, Medical University of Vienna, Kinderspitalgasse 15, A-1095 Vienna, Austria.
Transmission of specific immunoglobulins from mothers to their offspring via the egg is a common phenomenon in egg-laying vertebrates but the occurrence of this phenomenon in reptiles, especially in colubrid snakes, has not been proven until recently.
Thus, the essential biochemical characteristics of antibodies deposited in eggs of Elaphe guttata (Colubridae, Serpentes) were studied after isolation of the antibody by precipitation and purification by affinity chromatography and gel filtration, with verification by isoelectric focusing and immunoprecipitation.
The immunoglobulin deposited in the eggs of colubrid snakes is a singular, non-truncated IgY antibody in a concentration roughly equal to that in the snake's serum.
An efficient method to isolate antibody from snake eggs was developed, based on the PEG precipitation technique of avian yolk immunoglobulins; an unsophisticated protocol for the isolation procedure appropriate for reptile eggs is provided.