Antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in hen eggs have been created by researchers at the University of California, Davis.
Egg-derived antibodies may be used to treat COVID-19 or as a prophylactic step for those who have been exposed to the illness. The article appeared in the journal Viruses in July 2022.
IgY, a kind of antibody that is similar to IgG in humans and other mammals, is produced by birds. When administered to people, IgY does not produce allergy symptoms or trigger immunological responses. IgY can be found in the serum and eggs of birds. You can consume a lot of IgY, according to Gallardo, as a hen produces roughly 300 eggs every year.
Using three distinct vaccines based on the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein or receptor binding domain, Gallardo and associates immunised chickens twice. Three and six weeks following the previous vaccination, they evaluated antibodies in blood samples from chickens and egg yolks.
“The beauty of the system is that you can produce a lot of antibodies in birds,” said Rodrigo Gallardo, professor in poultry Medicine, Department of Population Health and Reproduction at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. “In addition to a low cost to produce these antibodies in hens, they can be updated very fast by using updated antigens to hyperimmunized hens, allowing protection against current variant strains.”
The National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases at George Mason University in Virginia investigated purified antibodies to see if they could prevent coronavirus from infecting human cells.
Vaccinated hens’ eggs and sera both contained SARS-CoV-2-recognizing antibodies. Because there are more antibodies in blood overall, according to Gallardo, serum antibodies were more effective at neutralising the virus.
To create the egg-based antibody technology, Gallardo is collaborating with partners Daria Mochly-Rosen at Stanford University and Michael Wallach at the University of Technology, Sydney. The team wants to use these antibodies to create a spray or other prophylactic medication that those who are at high risk of coronavirus exposure might take.