More than 10 years' continuous oral treatment with specific immunoglobulin Y for the prevention of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections: a case report

J Med Food. 2007 Jun;10(2):375-8. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2006.214.


Immunotherapy with specific antibodies is an alternative to antibiotics for the prevention of infections in humans and animals. We have used orally administered immunoglobulin Y (IgY) preparations, purified from eggs of hens immunized with Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria, to prevent pulmonary P. aeruginosa infections in a group of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). Respiratory infections are major problems for CF patients because of the thick mucus in the airways, and chronic P. aeruginosa lung infections occur in virtually all CF patients and cause morbidity and mortality. The IgY-treated group had only 2.5 P. aeruginosa-positive sputum cultures per 100 months, and none of the IgY-treated patients became chronically colonized with P. aeruginosa. In the control group, 13.7 of the cultures per 100 months were positive for P. aeruginosa, and 24% of patients became chronically colonized with P. aeruginosa. The first enrolled patient in this study has now been treated continuously for more than 10 years. During the first 8 years she only had four P. aeruginosa-positive cultures. After 8 years she became chronically infected, but still after 10 years the bacteria have not turned mucoid. No negative side effects of IgY treatment have been noted during these 10 years. To our knowledge this is the longest treatment with specific yolk antibodies for therapeutic purposes.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Chickens
  • Cystic Fibrosis / microbiology*
  • Egg Yolk / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunization, Passive*
  • Immunoglobulins / administration & dosage*
  • Lung Diseases / microbiology*
  • Pseudomonas Infections / prevention & control*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / immunology


  • IgY
  • Immunoglobulins