Jackson Immuno Research Inc.
specializing in secondary antibodies and conjugates
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Whole IgG Affinity-Purified Secondary Antibodies

"I have used a wide variety of secondaries and Jackson ImmunoResearch has consistently been the best. The fluorophores are bright and stable and their selective (x reactivity removed) secondaries have always shown species specificity in multiple labeling."

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Chicken and Anti-Chicken Antibodies

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Chicken and Anti-Chicken Antibodies

Conjugated Anti‑Chicken antibodies are the detection partner for chicken‑derived antibodies, a host species gaining popularity as a component of Lateral flow immunoassays, and as a system for generating antibodies against conserved mammalian motifs.

Read more to find out why Chicken‑derived and Anti‑Chicken Antibodies are useful.

Scientist using pipette, chicken eggs in view

Chicken immunoglobulins

Amphibians, reptiles, and birds express the immunoglobulin (Ig) heavy chain class isotype IgY as opposed to IgG found in mammals. IgY is the predominant Ig circulating in the blood and is present in egg yolk. With the exception of an additional constant domain (CH4), the structure of IgY is very similar to mammalian IgG and functionally, IgY plays a similar biological role, providing defense against infectious agents.

Chicken - an alternative host used for mammalian-derived immunogens

Chicken-derived primary antibodies retain the advantages afforded by using polyclonal antibodies, while providing researchers with a unique alternative to conventional mammalian-derived antibodies.

Chickens provide a novel host for raising primary antibodies against highly conserved mammalian proteins. Conserved proteins from one mammalian species may not be adequately divergent to elicit an immune response in another mammalian species to generate antibodies with sufficient yields and affinities for use as primary antibodies. Chickens being a different class of animal, are suitably different from mammals to enable efficient primary antibody production against mammalian proteins.

In addition, chicken IgY can be harvested from egg yolks, a process that bypasses the need for regular bleeding of the host animal and yields similar antibody quantities as conventional production methods.

Anti-Chicken Antibodies for Immunoassays

Given the rising popularity of chicken primary antibodies in research and commercial applications such in vitro diagnostic assays, anti-chicken secondary antibody detection reagents become essential. While structurally and functionally similar to their mammalian counterparts, avian immunoglobulins have marked differences in amino acid sequence and epitope landscape. As a consequence, secondary antibodies generated against IgG from mammalian species show little or no immunological cross-reactivity to immunoglobulins from avian species, like chicken, and vice versa.

Capture antibodies directed against target molecules and the conjugated secondary antibodies used to detect them are typically raised in mammalian hosts. Control reagents run alongside these immunoglobulins in an assay must not interfere with any reagents that contribute to the test result and the inherently low reactivity of anti-mammalian IgG’s to chicken immunoglobulins makes IgY a particularly useful control protein. Similarly, the reduced binding of anti-chicken (IgY) antibodies to mammalian IgG reduces the chance of interaction between reagents which may cause background.


  • Pereira, E., van Tilburg, M., Florean, E. and Guedes, M., 2019. Egg yolk antibodies (IgY) and their applications in human and veterinary health: A review. International Immunopharmacology, 73, pp.293-303.