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Int J Hematol. 2006 Jun;83(5):408-14.

Chicken egg yolk antibodies specific for the gamma chain of human hemoglobin for diagnosis of thalassemia.

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Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.


Immunoglobulin Y (IgY) technology was used to generate anti-hemoglobin Bart's (Hb Bart's) IgY antibodies (Abs) for development into an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test for thalassemia diagnosis. Hb Bart's purified from the hemolysate of a patient with Hb Bart's hydrops fetalis (homozygous alpha-thalassemia) was used to immunize a chicken via the pectoralis muscle. After water dilution and sodium sulfate precipitation, 40 to 70 mg of IgY could be extracted from an egg. IgY, first detected in sera 2 weeks after immunization, reached the highest titer at week 4, and the titer remained stable for at least 2 weeks before declining. The pattern of Ab response in the yolk was the same as in the serum but was somewhat delayed. The IgY Abs produced reacted with gamma globin, Hb Bart's, Hb F, normal cord hemolysate (Hbs F plus A), and Hb Bart's hydrops fetalis (Hbs Bart's plus Portland) and to a lesser degree with beta globin, Hb A, Hb A2 and adult hemolysate (Hbs A plus A2), but the Abs did not react with alpha globin. Immunoaffinity purification with Hb A coupled to Sepharose was used to isolate an unbound IgY that reacted with Hb F, Hb Bart's, and gamma globin, and this IgY was used to develop an ELISA test for thalassemia diagnosis. The results of direct ELISA analyses of 336 hemolysate samples from individuals with various known thalassemia genotypes and phenotypes and from healthy individuals confirmed the specificity of the polyclonal Abs for Hbs containing Hb F and Hb Bart's. This specificity, which was due to the Abs' strong reactivity in cases of pathologic thalassemic diseases and weak reactivity in cases of nonpathologic thalassemic diseases, depended on the levels of Hb Bart's and Hb F.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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