Getica produce and purify custom made polyclonal antibodies of both mammalian (e.g. rabbits) and avian (chickens) origin. The avian antibody (IgY) are comparable with its mammalian analogue (IgG) both in terms of general structure and function. Traditionally, IgG is used in diagnostic immunoassays. However, it has been proven that chicken IgY works equally well in many assays [1,2]. The type of immunoassay and which antigen to be captured are two important parameters that determine whether IgG or IgY performs better in a diagnostic assay.
When is IgY preferred over IgG?
The antibody type most suited for your purposes depends on the assay format and the antigen to be captured. As chickens are genetically different from mammals, IgY do not interact non-specifically with human blood components to the same extent as IgG, which consequently reduces the risk of measuring false positive results. For similar reasons, immunizing chickens with a mammalian antigen often results in a more pronounced immune response. As a matter of fact, if an antigen is highly conserved between mammalian species, it may result in a very low or no immune response in the immunized mammal.
The best choice might depend on your production need
Getica offer custom made antibodies in ranges from just a couple of milligrams up to several grams. Despite the amount required we usually recommend starting with smaller amounts involving fewer animals. The production is then scaled up and tailored to the needs of the customer.
One major advantage of IgY over IgG is that production of the former is considerably more cost effective. IgY and IgG are found at high concentrations in blood in chickens and mammals, respectively. However, in chickens the IgY are also transferred into the yolk of the egg, which readily enables collection of the IgY without bleeding the animal, arguably making IgY production more ethically defendable. Between 1000-2800 mg of total IgY can be collected from each immunized hen per month, which can be compared with 200-400 mg total IgG from one immunized rabbit (per month. Between 1-10% of the total antibody amount is specific towards the antigen. For a summary of antibody yields, see the table below.
Please contact us for further information. We are happy to discuss how Getica may be of assistance with your antibody needs.
References and further reading
 Liang, X., et al. 2018 ’Comparison of Chicken IgY and Mammalian IgG in Three Immunoassays for Detection of Sulfamethazine in Milk’, Food Analytical Methods, vol. 11, no. 12, pp. 3452-3463.
 Cipolla, A., et al. 2001 ’Campylobacter fetus diagnosis: direct immunofluorescence comparing chicken IgY and rabbit IgG conjugates’ ALTEX, vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 165-170.
 Schade R., et al. 2005 ’Chicken egg yolk antibodies (IgY-technology): a review of progress in production and use in research and human and veterinary medicine’, Alternatives to Lab Animals, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 129-154.
 Farrell, H., et al. 2004 ’Nomenclature of the Proteins of Cow’s Milk – Sixth Revision’, Journal of Dairy Science, vol. 87, no. 6, pp. 1641-1674.