Kyoto Prefectural University has developed a method for mass-producing immune-related antibodies using ostrich eggs.Vertebrates, including mammals, have a common immune system, and when foreign substances such as toxins and viruses invade the body, they learn the characteristics of the other and start attacking foreign enemies.Antibodies are substances that serve as weapons at this time. The epidemic of MERS has become big news in Japan, but the emergence of new pathogens poses a great threat to humankind.Ostrich antibodies may be used to prevent humans from these infections.
Once the body has learned the pathogen, it can launch a very quick attack against subsequent invasions.However, learning takes time, and the body is attacked when infected for the first time.Antibodies made by other animals have long been used to avoid humans taking these risks.For example, to treat a venomous snake bite, use an antibody made by a horse in advance.The ostrich was selected as an animal for producing antibodies by Professor Yasuhiro Tsukamoto's group at Kyoto Prefectural University.Ostriches injected with the virus acquire the antibody, but egg yolk also contains the antibody.Extract it and use it.Ostriches are cheap to feed and can be bred at low cost, and because of their large size, they have the advantage of being able to produce a large amount of antibodies at one time.It is also expected that ostriches, whose genes are significantly different from those of mammals, can produce antibodies that humans cannot produce.
Ostrich antibodies are not approved as pharmaceuticals as of May 2015 and cannot be administered to the human body, but they will be a powerful countermeasure against new viruses.Antibodies also exert their power anywhere, even if they are not in the body of an animal, as long as they can catch the virus.You can also prevent infection by spraying a spray containing antibodies on doorknobs, hands, and other areas where viruses are likely to adhere.
Source:[Kyoto Prefectural University] Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, Department of Agricultural Sciences, Animal Hygiene Laboratory "What is the power of ostriches?"