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Pediatrics. 1988 Feb;81(2):291-5.

Antibodies to rotaviruses in chickens' eggs: a potential source of antiviral immunoglobulins suitable for human consumption.

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Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205.


The prevalence of antibodies to human rotaviruses in commercially available eggs and egg products that are suitable for human consumption was investigated. The yolks of virtually all of the individual eggs and pasteurized pooled egg preparations contain antirotavirus antibodies detectable by means of enzyme immunoassay systems. Also, the eggs and egg preparations are capable of inhibiting the growth of two strains of rotaviruses in tissue culture. Chromatographic studies indicated that the antigen-binding activity is limited largely to the immunoglobulin fractions of the egg yolks. The antibody levels in eggs can be increased by the immunization of hens with purified rotavirus preparations, and the immunoglobulins isolated from the eggs of immunized hens can prevent the development of rotavirus gastroenteritis in experimentally infected animals. Egg preparations might serve as a practical source of antiviral antibodies suitable for consumption by infants and young children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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