Retention of specific yolk IgY in the human oral cavity

BioDrugs. 2002;16(6):433-7. doi: 10.2165/00063030-200216060-00004.


Introduction: The increasing prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria emphasises the need for new treatments that can replace traditional antibiotics. Oral immunotherapy with yolk antibodies from hyperimmunised hens is a new promising treatment strategy, primarily for infections in the mouth and gastrointestinal tract. Several studies show that bacterial and viral infections can be prevented with egg yolk immunoglobulin (IgY) in a dose-dependent manner. Oral treatment could potentially be used against many frequently encountered diseases (e.g. common cold, tonsillitis and caries). GROUP STUDIED: Healthy volunteers.

Study design: We studied the presence of yolk anti-Pseudomonas aeruginosa antibodies in saliva from healthy volunteers over time after 1 or 2 minutes' mouth rinse, performed in the evening, with an aqueous IgY antibody preparation. The test persons rinsed the mouth with 8.0ml phosphate buffered saline before gargling with the antibody preparation 8 and 24 hours later. Statistical analysis was performed with the Mann-Whitney U test.

Methods: The antibody titres in the mouth rinses were tested for their specific activity against P. aeruginosa by ELISA.

Results and conclusion: The next morning there were still active antibodies detected in the saliva from 18 of 19 subjects. After 24 hours, active antibodies could be detected in saliva from only a few of the subjects. A 2-minute mouth rinse resulted in higher mean ELISA absorbance values than a 1-minute rinse.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / administration & dosage
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / pharmacology*
  • Chickens
  • Child
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Egg Yolk / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins / administration & dosage
  • Immunoglobulins / pharmacology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth / immunology*
  • Mouth / microbiology
  • Mouthwashes / administration & dosage
  • Mouthwashes / pharmacology
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / immunology
  • Saliva / immunology
  • Saliva / microbiology
  • Time Factors


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • IgY
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Mouthwashes