Manufacturing of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies from hyperimmunized chickens

The extreme acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was first reported in late December 2019 in Wuhan, China, and is the etiologic agent of the continuing coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. To this point, SARS-CoV-2 has contaminated over 557 million and claimed greater than 6.35 million lives worldwide.

A number of efficient COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics have efficiently been developed and proven to guard people from the virus. Nevertheless, the continuous emergence of latest SARS-CoV-2 variants has lowered their effectiveness, as present COVID-19 vaccines are based on the spike protein of the unique SARS-CoV-2 pressure.

In consequence, scientists wish to develop new antiviral medicine, vaccines, and antibody therapies to guard people from contracting COVID-19.

Study: Hyperimmunized Chickens Produce Neutralizing Antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Image Credit: ustas7777777 /

Examine: Hyperimmunized Chickens Produce Neutralizing Antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Picture Credit score: ustas7777777 /


SARS-CoV-2 is a betacoronavirus that comprises a single-stranded and positive-sense ribonucleic acid (RNA) genome, which ranges from 27 to 30 kilobase (kb) pairs. Along with betacoronaviruses, different coronaviruses together with alphacoronaviruses, gammacoronaviruses, and deltacoronaviruses can infect a variety of species, resembling mammals and birds, inflicting respiratory and gastrointestinal illness. For instance. most industrial hens are immunized towards infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), which is a gammacoronavirus.

The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein mediates the invasion of the virus into the host. Throughout viral an infection, the S1 subunit of the spike protein, which comprises the receptor-binding area (RBD), binds to the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor on host cells, whereas the S2 area promotes the fusion of membranes. Hereafter, the viral RNA genome enters the host cell.

In coronaviruses, the RBD is probably the most antigenic web site of the S1 area and, because of this, is used because the goal in present COVID-19 vaccines and most therapeutics. The S1 area of the protein induces the manufacturing of neutralizing antibodies

One novel COVID-19 remedy that has just lately been accepted for emergency use by the US Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) is convalescent plasma. This therapy entails the administration of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies which have been remoted from COVID-19 recovered sufferers to newly contaminated sufferers. Researchers have additionally generated SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies in animals for passive immunization of people towards the virus.

One earlier research reported a gorgeous mannequin to reap antibodies from the eggs of hens immunized towards the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Among the benefits of this technique embrace its scalability, cost-effectiveness, and comfort. Notably, chickens produce immunoglobulin Y (IgY), which is analogous to mammalian IgG. 

Research have proven that an egg yolk usually yields 50-100 mg of IgY, which comprise between 2-10% of particular antibodies. Nevertheless, the quantity of antigen-specific IgY produced by hyperimmunized hens relies on the age of the hen, dose, antigenicity, molecular weight of the antigen, and route of administration. 

Concerning the research

A brand new Viruses journal research reviews the manufacturing of neutralizing antibodies towards SARS-CoV-2 in hyperimmunized hens. Herein, the researchers immunized hens with a number of totally different vaccine formulations, which included vaccine A twice (A/A), vaccine B twice (B/B), vaccine C twice (C/C), and vaccine C adopted by vaccine B (C/B).

Hens vaccinated with the adjuvant solely served as a unfavourable management. Every therapy group was divided into a number of subgroups based mostly on totally different doses.

On this research, all vaccines had a quantity of 0.5 µl and have been administered by way of the intramuscular route within the pectoral muscle. Blood samples have been collected 21 days following the second immunization and on the finish of the experiment, which was six weeks after the second dose.

One month following the second immunization, eggs have been collected for IgY extraction. These samples have been examined for neutralizing antibodies towards SARS-CoV-2 utilizing the plaque discount neutralization assay (PRNA) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

Examine findings

Laying hens that have been hyperimmunized towards three totally different SARS-CoV-2 recombinant spike proteins produced particular antibodies in sera. Furthermore, low ranges of SARS-CoV-2-specific IgY titers have been produced in egg yolk, whereas a major stage of antibodies was detected in sera.

The dose and sort of antigen have been the 2 most vital elements that influenced the variety of antibodies produced. Though all vaccines produced antibodies towards SARS-CoV-2, vaccines that focused the glycosylated S1 protein (C/C) and a mixture of glycosylated S1 and non-glycosylated RBD of S1 (C/B) exhibited higher neutralization capability. Notably, antibodies generated from vaccine C might be administered as a fraction of the dose vital for an efficient seroconversion.

As in comparison with the management group, hens immunized with the complete size and tagged S1 protein induced the next IgY titer in serum and egg yolk in any respect doses. Nevertheless, hens immunized with RBD fragments on the highest dose of fifty µg elicited extra antibodies as in comparison with the unfavourable management group.

Importantly, virus neutralization was not noticed in IBV-vaccinated hens, thus suggesting no cross-reaction between IBV antibodies and SARS-CoV-2.


The antibody manufacturing in hyperimmunized hens depends on the dose and sort of antigen. The researchers imagine that neutralizing antibodies purified from the egg yolk of hyperimmunized chickens could be successfully used as immunoprophylaxis in people.

Journal reference:
  • Aston, E. J., Wallach, M. G., Narayanan, A., et al. (2022) Hyperimmunized Chickens Produce Neutralizing Antibodies towards SARS-CoV-2. Viruses 14(7):1510. doi:10.3390/v14071510.



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