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The Advantages of Using Chickens to Produce Polyclonal Antibodies
When it comes to producing polyclonal antibodies, most people opt to use rabbit antibodies. Rabbit antibodies are great for a number of reasons, but there is a producer that far surpasses rabbit antibodies in a variety of ways: chickens. Chicken antibodies are an incredible alternative to rabbit antibodies, and this article will explain why.
Chickens are far removed (somewhere near 100 million years) from mammals, which is incredibly beneficial when it comes to antibody production. Why? Chicken genes have higher titres when compared with the gene products of mammals. Chickens recognize any mammalian gene type as foreign, and thus have quick and powerful immune system responses, much greater than the immune responses of rabbits.
When using chicken antibodies from a quality provider like aveslab.com, double immunostaining is much easier to accomplish. Regardless if you’re using mouse or rabbit antibodies, using chicken antibodies with them won’t cause cross-reactivity.
One factor that’s causing a lot of companies to start using chicken antibodies is that they’re animal friendly. If you use chicken antibodies, you won’t have to worry about any sort of PETA protest, as chicken antibodies are purified from eggs, not serum. Serum is obtained from rabbits usually by restraining the rabbits, and then performing a cardiac puncture or ear bleed, which is very inhumane and uncomfortable for the rabbit. This has caused some companies to be boycotted or protested, which can lead to very negative PR. Using chicken antibodies is very humane, as no animals are harmed whatsoever.
In addition to being animal friendly and very humane, chicken antibodies are just plain cheaper than rabbit antibodies. Chicken antibodies have a shelf life of at least five years when stored at 4 degrees Celsius, as opposed to rabbit antibodies that have a shelf life ranging from weeks to months when stored under the same conditions. This means you’ll be spending a lot less in the long run when you switch to chicken antibodies, and you won’t have to worry about them losing any biological activity when they’re frozen.
Since the chicken antibodies come from chicken eggs as opposed to a life animal, the supply is essentially unlimited. The previously mentioned company uses six immune eggs out of a harvest of eighteen to prepare the antibodies, and the rest of the eggs are stored in case anymore antibodies are required. In fact, chicken antibody providers also can often store the hens for you, if additional injections are needed. This means you’ll almost never run out of the antibodies you need, and you won’t jeopardize any work.
Lastly, the stem portion of a chicken antibody doesn’t contain any Fc domain, which results in many benefits over rabbit antibodies. This means less false positive tests when it comes to diagnostic applications, and no binding of mammalian Fc receptors.
All in all, chicken antibodies provide numerous benefits that rabbit antibodies don’t. If you’re still using rabbit antibodies, it’s definitely time you considered switching to using chicken antibodies.
Image credit: http://www.capralogics.com/