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IgYs as an alternative approach to antibiotics

: Zajac, Julia; Schubert, Andreas; Oelkrug, Christopher


Journal of antimicrobial agents 3 (2017), Nr.2, Art. 144, 8 S.
ISSN: 2472-1212
Fraunhofer IZI ()
antibiotic; antibody; IgY; resistance; pathogen; functional food; food industry

Misuse and overdose of antibiotics in agriculture and human disease lead to a worldwide problem of resistant bacteria. In 2012, 10,000 metric tons of antibiotics in the US and 8,000 in Europe were used in animals for the food industry. Resistance can be transferred within and between bacteria species, but also spread easily over to humans by contact with contaminated food, soil or infected animals and patients. To find a successful therapy against resistant microbes is extremely difficult due to the high cost of developing next generation antibiotics and its production, but also because of bacteria ability of developing new mechanisms against these drugs. Therefore, technology based on avian antibodies IgYs can be a strong alternative for antibiotic therapy. Advantages of IgYs include: low costs, effective and non-harmful method of production. But the strongest argument is that they cannot be affected by bacterial resistance. IgYs can be used not only as a preventative or therapeutic but also as growth promoters in food production. In this review we present the reasons for antibiotic resistance in bacteria and its consequences in the field of farming and human medicine, including molecular biology mechanisms and statistics. Furthermore we introduce IgYs as a promising and potential candidate for the replacement of antibiotics in the near future.