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Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2013 May;9(5):1039-48. doi: 10.4161/hv.23383. Epub 2013 Jan 14.

Oral passive IgY-based immunotherapeutics: a novel solution for prevention and treatment of alimentary tract diseases.

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  • 1Immunology Research Institute in Gifu; EW Nutrition Japan; Sano, Gifu Japan.


This commentary summarizes the laboratory investigations and clinical trials published recently involving per-oral application of IgY supplemented food for specific orogastrointestinal disease prevention and control purposes. The prolonged use and misuse of conventional antibacterial drugs has spawned antibiotic resistant microbes prompting scientists to search for other germ-killing options. In particular, the use of IgY as a novel mode of immunotherapy using oral chicken immunoglobulin (IgY) to confer passive immunity has gained much interest as an inexpensive non-antibiotic alternative for the prophylaxis and treatment of a wide variety of infectious diseases. The stability of IgY in the orogastrointestinal tract and its safety profile has been well-documented. IgY has been used in the treatment or prevention of dental caries, periodontitis and gingivitis, gastritis and gastric ulcer, oral thrush and infant rotavirus diarrhea. The recent clinical trials on IgY with encouraging results has catapulted into the market novel nutraceutical or health supplements for therapeutic or prophylactic intervention based on the consumption of mono-specific or mixed IgY formulations. With recent trends in consumer preference for natural materials to alleviate health concerns, the increasing healthcare costs and the recent advances in drug delivery systems, IgY is likely to shift from its mainly functional food status toward pharmaceuticalization in the foreseeable future.


antibody; functional food; health management; human; immunoglobulin; immunotherapy; passive; veterinary

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