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Koala populations are plummeting due in part to endemic chlamydia infections, a sexually transmitted disease that causes blindness, infertility and high mortality in these iconic marsupials. Little is known about why some koalas are severely affected by this disease while others remain asymptomatic. Using three years of data and samples collected from approximately 300 wild koalas, researchers will investigate if co-infection with a recently discovered koala retrovirus results in the more serious or clinically pathogenic forms of chlamydia infections in koalas. Understanding the health consequences of co-infection can open doors to new treatment options, including potential drug and vaccine therapies, to ensure the long-term survival of koalas in the wild.

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Start Date
Grant amount awarded
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The University of the Sunshine Coast
Study country
Peter Timms, PhD
Study category
Infectious Disease