Copyright ©The Author(s) 2021. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Methodol. Sep 20, 2021; 11(5): 243-262
Published online Sep 20, 2021. doi: 10.5662/wjm.v11.i5.243
IgY technology: Methods for developing and evaluating avian immunoglobulins for the in vitro detection of biomolecules
Chrysoula-Evangelia Karachaliou, Vyronia Vassilakopoulou, Evangelia Livaniou
Chrysoula-Evangelia Karachaliou, Vyronia Vassilakopoulou, Evangelia Livaniou, Institute of Nuclear & Radiological Sciences & Technology, Energy & Safety, National Centre for Scientific Research “Demokritos”, Athens 15310, Greece
Author contributions: Karachaliou CE collected the literature articles and drafted the manuscript; Vassilakopoulou V contributed to the literature search and draft writing; Livaniou E designed the draft and edited the final paper; All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.
Conflict-of-interest statement: Authors declare no conflict of interest for this article.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Evangelia Livaniou, PhD, Academic Research, Institute of Nuclear & Radiological Sciences & Technology, Energy & Safety, National Centre for Scientific Research “Demokritos,” Agia Paraskevi, Athens 15310, Greece.
Received: February 4, 2021
Peer-review started: February 4, 2021
First decision: June 7, 2021
Revised: June 10, 2021
Accepted: July 13, 2021
Article in press: July 13, 2021
Published online: September 20, 2021

The term “IgY technology” was introduced in the literature in the mid 1990s to describe a procedure involving immunization of avian species, mainly laying hens and consequent isolation of the polyclonal IgYs from the “immune” egg yolk (thus avoiding bleeding and animal stress). IgYs have been applied to various fields of medicine and biotechnology. The present article will deal with specific aspects of IgY technology, focusing on the currently reported methods for developing, isolating, evaluating and storing polyclonal IgYs. Other topics such as current information on isolation protocols or evaluation of IgYs from different avian species are also discussed. Specific advantages of IgY technology (e.g., novel antibody specificities that may emerge via the avian immune system) will also be discussed. Recent in vitro applications of polyclonal egg yolk-derived IgYs to the field of disease diagnosis in human and veterinary medicine through in vitro immunodetection of target biomolecules will be presented. Moreover, ethical aspects associated with animal well-being as well as new promising approaches that are relevant to the original IgY technology (e.g., development of monoclonal IgYs and IgY-like antibodies through the phage display technique or in transgenic chickens) and future prospects in the area will also be mentioned.

Keywords: Animal welfare, Polyclonal IgYs, Egg yolk, IgY technology, Relevant-to-IgY-technology approaches, In vitro immunodetection techniques

Core Tip: IgY technology has been widely used during the last decades, especially as a means for the efficient in vitro immunodetection of biomolecules in various fields of research and disease diagnosis. Despite the very promising relevant new approaches, there is still space to further exploit the original IgY technology due to functional, practical, and ethical reasons/advantages associated with the unique features of IgYs, the highly efficient isolation of large amounts of IgYs from the immune egg yolk, and the avoidance of animal bleeding, respectively.