The veterinarian Dr. Felix Klemperer described the mode of action of egg antibodies over 100 years ago. He discovered that chickens, after having been challenged with pathogens, produce antibodies and transfer them into the yolk of their eggs. These antibodies serve the offspring, the freshly hatched chicks, as an immunological support during their first days and weeks of life. Agriculture made use of this knowledge from early on. Calves used to be fed with eggs from chickens which had previously been kept in close contact with the calves. This method protected the calves from the pathogens causing diarrhea, e.g. salmonella, E. coli, rotaviruses, and corona viruses.
Mode of action
Antibodies derived from chicken eggs are predominately active in the intestine, where they recognize and bind to specific pathogenic microbes. The pathogen thus blocked can no longer adhere to the intestinal walls where it consequently cannot cause any damage. The innocuous form is then excreted with the feces.
This produces a decrease of diarrheic diseases and hence less treatment costs and losses. Piglets and calves accordingly produce better feed conversion efficiencies. Result: higher profits.