Human health care

Our research on IgY applications for human health focus on the areas oral care, gastrointestinal care, and upper respiratory care.

Thanks to decades of research on maternal immunity mechanism, IRIG has successfully developed many patented IgY applications against different pathogens in human and animals.

Priority Areas

IgY for oral care

Dental plaque contains the bacterium Streptococcus mutans, which is the main causative agent of tooth decay. IgY against the enzyme called glucosyltransferase (GTase) interfere with S. mutans’ ability to cause dental caries. Anti-Gtase IgY antibodies can be added to functional foods such as candy, gum, or mouth wash liquids to prevent tooth decay.

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Gum disease, or periodontitis, is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. Caused by bacteria, the disease leads to inflammation of the gums, receding gums and, ultimately, tooth loss. In Japan, about 80% of those over age 40 are said to have gum disease. Gum disease is caused by infectious bacteria, one of which is Porphyromonas gingivalis. To prevent periodontitis, IgY that target the gingipains produced by P. gingivalis have proven effective.

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IgY for gastrointestinal health

90% of patients with gastritis or gastric ulcers are also infected with Helicobacter pylori. The bacterium is also involved in gastric cancer. H. pylori survives in stomach acid because it uses an enzyme called urease to metabolize urea into carbon dioxide and ammonia. This reaction neutralizes the gastric acid in its vicinity.

Secreted urease also helps the bacterium adhere to the mucus layer of the stomach. IRIG has developed specific IgY against this urease and shown that they could significantly reduce the H. pylori load in stomachs of animals and humans.

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Worldwide, rotavirus is the leading single etiologic agent of severe diarrhea among infants and young children during the first five years of life. It is responsible for over 500,000 deaths in infants and young children, mostly in developing countries, each year. Rotaviruses have also been implicated as in outbreaks of diarrhea in nursing homes and among immunodeficient adults.

Conventional treatment for rotavirus diarrhea is non-specific, largely symptomatic and involves fluid and electrolyte replacement and nutrition maintenance. Current vaccine regimens suffer from variable degrees of efficacy and high costs. Our research has identified specific IgY to support the therapy of rotavirus infections in humans and animals.

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IgY for the respiratory tract

Influenza, commonly known as “the flu”, is one of the most important emerging and reemerging infectious diseases. It causes high morbidity and mortality in communities (epidemic) and worldwide (pandemic). Babies, elderly people, people with comorbid illness health problems, immuno-compromised patients, pregnant women, and certain ethnic groups face the highest risks.

Annual vaccination and anti-influenza drugs are the most important preventive and therapeutic measures, respectively. Their effects are limited due to the changes in serotypes, poor applicability to high-risk patients, and the appearance of drug-resistant strains. IRIG staff are working on applying anti-influenza IgY to tablets, gums, sprays, etc. that may help reduce the risk of catching influenza.

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Further research

Candida albicans is part of the indigenous microbial flora of the gastrointestinal tract, mucocutaneous membranes, and oral cavity in healthy humans. Although C. albicans rarely causes infections in healthy humans, patients under chemotherapy for cancer, immunosuppressive therapy, or prolonged antibiotic therapy can suffer from mucosal, cutaneous, or systemic candidiasis. Research on anti-Candida IgY shows promising results.

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How to prevent metabolic syndrome?

  • Control overweight and obesity (weight loss)
  • Increase physical activities
  • Healthy eating plan (eating less fat and calories)
  • Reduce blood TG by mean of drugs (most anti-obesity drugs have side effects)

Specific IgY (LP) has broad reactivity against lipase from different sources.

Like anti-obesity Orlistat, Specific IgY (LP) has specific inhibition activity against lipase from human and animals. By this inhibition activity, Specific IgY (LP) reduces adsorption of fat in foods into blood.

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