Deciding on which species to use for immunisation is rather straight forward. The most cost effective hosts are chickens and rabbits. While chickens now are the second most asked for host, rabbits are traditionally used and will work fine in most cases. There are good arguments for choosing either one of the two. However, there are scenarios where you may want to opt for a host different from rabbit. Typically these involve concerns of antibody amount or phylogenetic distance to the target protein, or the need for a second host where rabbit IgG has already been obtained.
When larger amounts of antibody are required either a goat or chicken is selected. Although chicken antibodies have nice properties the goat is still the most commonly used host for large scale antibody production. One important thing to remember when it comes to using goats for antibody production is that they should not have been used previously for this purpose. Although the initial cost for these premium goats are higher, the added cost per unit of antibody is moderate and the benefits are obvious.
In terms of cost the antibodies are comparable in the long run, although the initial costs of the chicken are lower. Since you are not committed to larger volumes of chicken antibodies you can choose to immunize several animals in order to obtain the better antibody, and then proceed with a single animal for large scale production.
When your antigen is a protein that is conserved in mammals, and you want a host with a larger phylogenetic distance, then chicken is the host of choice. However, when the antigen is a synthetic peptide conjugated to a carrier molecule, even sequences taken from endogenous proteins will illicit an immune response, and there may be reasons for wanting to go for a rabbit immunisation regardless of this.
When the only requirement is a second host different to rabbit, then typically a chicken or rat is chosen. The chicken is more cost effective and will yield in the order to 400 mg total IgY while the rat delivers only a few millilitres of serum. Even if the yield is not an issue there are other merits to chicken antibodies, and spending a moment to see if these are relevant for your project may be well worth it.
Innovagen was founded in 1992 and over the years we have produced thousands of custom antibodies, in various hosts (rabbit, chicken, goat, etc) against most types of antigens. Our knowledge and dedication to quality in all aspects of the production stems from our extensive experience in this area. This will be of great benefit for you when you turn to us for your antibody requirements.
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