Amaral JA, Tino De Franco M, Carneiro-Sampaio MM, Carbonare SB
Res Vet Sci 2002 Jun 72:229-34
IgY, the egg yolk immunoglobulin, equivalent to the IgG from mammals, has been used in veterinary practice for passive immunisation against bacterial or viral infectious diseases. Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) is the main etiological agent of infantile diarrhoea in Brazil and other developing countries. Our aims were to isolate immunoglobulin IgY from egg yolk laid by EPEC -immunised Leghorn chickens and to study its reactivity to the antigens from this pathogen, including some virulence factors. Leghorn chickens were immunised with a bacterial suspension intramuscularly (three hens) or intravenously (three hens) or with PBS (two hens). Eggs were collected over a period of 17 weeks. IgY isolation procedures were carried out by salt precipitation (ammonium sulphate, in solid form) followed by centrifugations and dialysis. Final preparations were submitted to sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS - PAGE), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and immunoblotting. All immunised animals developed good levels of antibodies reactive to whole bacteria or lipopolysaccharide (LPS), in contrast to the control ones. Immunoblottings allowed the recognition of several antigenic fractions of bacterial antigens, some of which had a molecular weight compatible with bacterial virulence factors, confirming the efficacy of the immunisation and the adequacy of the method.
Laboratório de Imunogenética, Instituto Butantan, São Paulo, Brazil.