FAQs: What You Need to Know About Chicken Polyclonal Antibodies

Here you'll find the most common questions our customers ask.

Why Use Antibodies?

Antibodies are research tools that have the ability to bind tightly and specifically to a desired target molecule. Antibodies are most often raised against proteins (using either a protein or peptide immunogen), but they can also be raised against small molecules such as drugs and hormones. They are used to identify and characterize their target and have a wide range diagnostic and clinical applications.

Why Chicken IgY?

Chicken IgY antibodies offer higher titer against highly-conserved mammalian gene products, easier multiplex staining, no reactivity against animal proteins, animal friendly production, nearly unlimited supply, and cost-effectiveness. Click here to learn more!

Why Does Aves Labs Use Eggs, Not Serum, to Produce its Purified IgY Antibody?

Eggs provide a convenient and humane source of high quality chicken IgY antibodies. Immunoglobulin Y (IgY) is the major circulating antibody in chickens. But it is also found in egg yolks at high concentrations, and it is from the yolks that we purify IgY antibodies..

What is a Polyclonal IgY Antibody?

Polyclonal immunoglobulin IgY is the major circulating antibody type found in serum and egg yolks of chickens. In the serum, IgY is found with other antibody isotypes, including IgM and IgA. Egg yolks predominantly contain antibodies of the IgY type; moreover, they contain these antibodies in high concentrations.

What is IgY and What is its Relationship to IgG?

Chicken immunoglobulin Y (IgY) is the major circulating antibody found in chickens and is the avian counterpart to mammalian IgG. IgY is transferred from the blood to the yolk via specific receptors. IgY is equivalent to IgG in most experimental applications, including western blot, ELISA, immunohistochemistry, immunocytochemistry, and functional blocking experiments. Learn more here!

What is the Difference Between the IgY Fraction and the Affinity Purified Antibody Fraction?

Some of our chicken IgY antibodies are supplied as an "IgY fraction," while many are supplied as an "affinity-purified antibody fraction." The IgY fraction refers to the total complement of antibodies circulating in the hen’s egg yolk. The "affinity-purified antibody fraction" refers to only those antibodies that bind to the immunizing antigen (protein or peptide) with high affinity. They are typically purified using the immunizing antigen covalently immobilized on agarose beads. These affinity-purified antibodies typically correspond to 0.5%-2.0% of the total complement of antibodies.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Chicken IgY as a Research Tool?

Advantages include low cross reactivity to mammalian proteins, ease of multiplexing, cost effectiveness, and more. Disadvantages include cross-reactivity in avian models, cost considerations in applications requiring Fab fragments, and the need for a different reagent when performing IP. Click here for the full list of considerations!

How Much IgY is Present in Chicken Eggs?

The concentration of antibody in the egg yolk is somewhat higher than that found in serum. Whereas human serum typically contains IgG at 10-12 mg/ml, egg yolk contains immunoglobulin Y (IgY) at 8-20 mg/ml (Akita and Nakai, 1993 J. Immunol Methods 160 (2), 207-214). It is thought that this high concentration is important for conferring passive immunity to newly hatched chicks.

How Long Does it Take to Make a High Quality Chicken Antibody?

Regardless of the host species used to raise antibodies, it takes time for the immune system to produce the maximum titer of antibodies. The maximal-titer antibody production process takes about twelve (12) weeks -- the same in chickens as in rabbits.

How Does Chicken IgY Compare Methodologically with Mammalian IgG?

Chicken IgY antibodies are functionally equivalent to rabbit and other mammalian antibodies in most applications, including Western Blot (using both alkaline phosphatase- and horseradish peroxidase-labeled antibodies), immunocytochemistry, and even immunoprecipitation. Click here for more information!

Ready to Get Started?

For questions or a quote from one of our scientists, submit your project details below. We will respond within two business days. If you require immediate assistance, call us at (800) 824-8540.