Accelerating the Pace of Discovery

Advantages of IgY

Advantages of IgY

three chickens - gallus


There are several advantages to choosing chickens, rather than rabbit or goats to produce your polyclonal antibodies.

  1. Chickens are not mammals and therefore are more apt to make high-avidity antibodies to mammalian antigens (especially highly conserved mammalian proteins). To our knowledge, it is the most humane way to produce polyclonal antibodies. There is no need to bleed the chicken. Simply collect the eggs.
  2. A single chicken can produce an enormous amount of antibody, up to 3 grams of IgY per month, which is 10-20 times the amount of a rabbit.
  3. Furthermore, compared to rabbits, chickens produce antibody much quicker – high-titre antibody is available from eggs as early as day 25. Our custom IgY production services will deliver 0.5 gram of purified IgY to you within 50-60 days.
  4. Fc region of chicken IgY is sufficiently different from mammalian IgG:
    • Reduces background by not binding to mammalian rheumatoid factors or other naturally occurring anti-mammalian antibodies (e.g. HAMA)
    • Does not activate mammalian complement systems
    • Does not bind to mammalian Fc receptors
    • Does not bind to standard immunoglobulin-binding proteins such as protein A (Staphylococcus aureus), protein G (Streptococcus sp.), or protein L (Peptostreptococcus magnus)
  5. By having the immunoglobulin Y (IgY) packaged conveniently in eggs, eggs can be stored over a long period of time and the IgY purified from the eggs of desired titre/avidity.
  6. It is cheaper to feed and house chickens than rabbits.
  7. IgY is a stable antibody sharing the following characteristics with mammalian IgG:
    • Divalent
    • Degraded by papain to yield divalent Fab fragment
    • May be enzyme-labeled, biotinylated and gold–labeled by standard procedure