In vitro reactivity and growth inhibition of EPEC serotype O111 and STEC serotypes O111 and O157 by homologous and heterologous chicken egg yolk antibody

Vet Res Commun. 2008 Apr;32(4):281-90. doi: 10.1007/s11259-007-9029-3. Epub 2007 Dec 11.


IgY is a chicken egg yolk antibody which has been used for treatment and prophylaxis of gastrointestinal infections. Our aim was to verify if IgY obtained from chickens immunized with EPEC O111, STEC O111 and STEC O157 is able to show in vitro reactivity and biological activity towards the three bacteria. IgY was obtained from eggs laid before and after immunization with each bacterium. The preparations of IgY anti-EPEC O111 and anti-STEC O111 shared high reactivity detected by ELISA and growth inhibition ability towards both bacteria EPEC O111 and STEC O111. Nevertheless, the preparation of IgY anti-STEC O157 showed high reactivity and growth inhibitory effect only towards the homologous strain. Our results showing in vitro biological activity of IgY reinforce its use as an alternative for the treatment or prophylaxis of E. coli infections and encourage the development of in vivo studies for a possible future human therapeutic use.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chickens / immunology*
  • Egg Yolk / immunology
  • Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli / growth & development
  • Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli / immunology*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / immunology
  • Escherichia coli Infections / microbiology
  • Escherichia coli Infections / therapy
  • Escherichia coli Infections / veterinary*
  • Female
  • Immunization / veterinary
  • Immunoglobulins / immunology
  • Immunoglobulins / pharmacology*
  • Poultry Diseases / immunology*
  • Poultry Diseases / microbiology
  • Shiga-Toxigenic Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Shiga-Toxigenic Escherichia coli / growth & development
  • Shiga-Toxigenic Escherichia coli / immunology*
  • Specific Pathogen-Free Organisms


  • IgY
  • Immunoglobulins