What do a Black Mamba, Chicken Eggs and Covid-19 have to do with Calf Diarrhea?
The Roman Empire was built upon the success of its legions, and Roman medicine similarly had its foundations in the innovations and discoveries of the battlefield:
“Yolks of eggs.... are taken for dysentery with the ash of their shells, poppy juice and wine.”
In the early day’s farmers would feed an egg in the milk for calves with scours. The chickens roamed the farm looking for food and at the same time were exposed to various pathogens. Once the chickens were exposed to a pathogen, they naturally produce an antibody to fight that disease. Individual chickens vary in their ability to produce antibodies. Antibodies are normally produced by the body’s immune response system to fight disease. Eggs contain peptides called IgY, which are directed at specific pathogens affecting your newborn calves. There are also IgA, IgM and binding proteins in the Albumin (egg whites). There is certainly some good nutrients in eggs, one egg has only 75 calories but 7 grams of high-quality protein, 5 grams of fat, and 1.6 grams of saturated fat, along with iron, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids. The egg is used for calf scours as a powerhouse of disease-fighting peptides (IgY).
Snake antivenom is currently produced using horses. Anti-venom produced in horses sometimes has other proteins that can cause allergic reactions, kidney failure and serum sickness in some people. A newly developed technique, 12-week-old birds injected with sub-lethal doses of venom followed by a booster dose after 2-3 weeks started to lay eggs with anti-venom antibodies concentrated in the yolk. This newly developed process is also an improvement in the quantity of anti-venom produced - antibodies produced by 1 liter of horse blood could be obtained from just 50 chicken eggs.
With modern technical innovations in immunology, we are now able to produce individual antibodies at given titer levels for many of the major intestinal pathogens across all species. If one looks at the ingredient list of any Calf Product, it is shown as “Dried Egg”. Science has shown egg to be very effective against various pathogens, however it is dose responsive.
There is a human product containing egg now available called DiaResQ and recently Ig Nova, who researches technology based on specific egg immunoglobulins (IgY), filed for a patent for IgY against Covid-19.