Development of a new approach of immunotherapy against scorpion envenoming: Avian IgYs an alternative to equine IgGs

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Antivenom treatment has been largely used against scorpion stings. Despite their efficacy, the use of mammalian antivenoms may cause adverse effects due to the immune system activation. IgYs from hyperimmunized laying hens against venoms could be a promising alternative to equine IgGs due to the various benefits that these antibodies can provide. Here we report the preparation of specific IgYs by immunizing laying hens with Aah (Androctonus australis hector) scorpion venom.

IgYs were isolated from egg yolks by water dilution and salt precipitation methods; they were characterized by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, western blot and ELISA. The efficiency of these immunoglobulins on the pathophysiological effects induced by Aah venom was assessed by histological and metabolical analysis of the aorta and the heart. The inflammatory response was assessed by evaluating the granulocyte tissue infiltration and oxidative/nitrosative status.

Results revealed high IgYs titers against Aah venom by ELISA. Overall, these IgYs seem to protect efficiently mice against envenomation and neutralized the lethal effects of scorpion venom with a high efficacy; the median effective dose (ED50) was 221 μl/2 LD50; i.e. an amount of 79.23 mg of IgY scan neutralize 1 mg of Aah venom. IgY antibodies neutralize effectively the Aah venom lethality and could prevent severe pathological effects induced by scorpion venom and could be used as an effective alternative to equine IgGs against scorpion envenoming.

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