858-449-1310 contact@somatek.com

Chicken egg yolk antibodies, immunoglobulin Y, abbreviated IgY, are a type of antibody found in birds and reptiles, but not mammals. Like other immunoglobulins, IgY are a critical part of organisms’ immune response to foreign substances including pathogens. IgY are bivalent antibodies and in many ways have properties and functions similar to mammalian IgG.  IgY also have properties that make them very useful for certain research applications. IgY antibodies have very high affinity for mammalian antigens, they do not bind to mammalian Fc receptors reducing background for cell-based applications, and they do not cross-react with mammalian IgG making them a valuable addition to multiplex experiments [1].

IgY for research are polyclonal antibodies from immunized chickens, and an important source is chicken egg yolk, with a single yolk able to yield up to 100 mg of IgY [2]. There is use for crude preps of antimicrobial IgY for food preservation [3] and purified IgY for bioanalytics. Somatek has experience purifying IgY from egg yolk and is currently developing improved protocols. If you are interested in discussing IgY purification, don’t hesitate to contact us at  contact@somatek.com