African Journal of
Microbiology Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Microbiol. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0808
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJMR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 5233

Full Length Research Paper

Characterization of egg yolk immunoglobulin (IgY) against enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli and evaluation of its effects on bovine intestinal cells

Romina Valeria Bellingeri*, Lucila Busso, Fabrisio Eduardo Alustiza, Natalia Yanina Picco, Daniela Paola Molinero, María Carolina Grosso, Carlos Eugenio Motta and Adriana Beatriz Vivas
Departamento de Anatomía Animal, Facultad de Agronomía y Veterinaria, Universidad Nacional de Río Cuarto, Río Cuarto (5800) Córdoba, Argentina
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 24 January 2013
  •  Published: 31 January 2013


Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) infection is common in calves. Egg yolk antibodies (IgY) have been used to treat gastrointestinal infectious diseases. This study aimed to characterize IgY against bovine ETEC and to evaluate its effects on bovine intestinal cell culture challenged with a bovine ETEC strain. IgY was isolated from the egg yolks of hens immunized with ETEC. The characteristics of IgY were determined by Bradford, ELISA, gel electrophoresis and immunoblotting. Significant differences in anti-ETEC activity between anti-ETEC IgY and non-specific IgY were found in lyophilized fractions. In the bacterial growth assay, anti-ETEC IgY (40 mg/mL) showed growth inhibition of ETEC after 2 h of incubation (p<0.05). The difference in bacterial growth between anti-ETEC IgY and non-specific IgY groups was 0.51 log CFU/ml after an 8 h incubation (p<0.05). The bacterial adhesion assay indicated that anti-ETEC IgY (40 mg/ml) significantly decreased the adhesion of ETEC to bovine intestinal epithelial cells within 4 h (about 1.36 log units compared with the control group; p<0.05). This study demonstrates that anti-ETEC IgY inhibits the growth and adherence of ETEC to bovine intestinal cells and is a potential alternative to traditional treatments of E. coli infections.


Key words: Immunoglobulin Y (IgY), neonatal calf diarrhea, enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, bacterial adherence, bacterial growth