Vaccine for koala chlamydia close

Jul 17, 2008

Professors Peter Timms and Ken Beagley from Queensland University of Technology's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI) said the vaccinated koalas, which are at Brisbane's Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, were mounting a good response to the vaccine.

"A good T-cell immune response is essential if the vaccine is to be effective," Professor Timms said.

"This initial trial will measure only the animals' immune response and will not involve any live chlamydial infections.

"If all goes well with this trial our future studies will evaluate the vaccine on sick and injured koalas brought in for care, relocated animals, and koalas in other sanctuaries.

"As many as 25-50 per cent of koalas coming into care in both Queensland and NSW are showing clinical signs of the disease and it seems to be getting worse."

The researchers have been working on developing a vaccine for the sexually transmitted disease chlamydia trachomatis in humans for many years.

"We've been able to develop the vaccine for koalas as a result of our studies on the development of human chlamydial vaccines done in the mouse model. We identified several novel vaccine proteins that we are trialling to protect koalas as well," Professor Beagley said.

He said chlamydia in koalas was a significant cause of infertility, urinary tract infections, and inflammation in the lining of the eye that often led to blindness.

"The number of koalas with chlamydia seems to be increasing and when combined with habitat destruction, chlamydial disease continues to be a major threat to koalas' survival," he said.

Professors Timms and Beagley said that despite the importance of developing a vaccine against chlamydia for koalas the team is struggling to raise enough funds to continue their work.

Source: Queensland University of Technology

Explore further: Free the seed: OSSI nurtures growing plants without patent barriers

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

World-first research will save koalas

Apr 09, 2013

The "holy grail" for understanding how and why koalas respond to infectious diseases has been uncovered in an Australian-led, world-first genome mapping project.

Fears for koalas as study reveals 'marked decline'

Sep 22, 2011

Australia's much-loved koala is under increasing threat and should be considered a vulnerable species, an official report found Thursday, with habitat loss seeing their numbers plunge.

Animals linked to human Chlamydia pneumoniae

Feb 22, 2010

Animals have been found to have infected humans sometime in the past with the common respiratory disease Chlamydia pneumoniae, according to Queensland University of Technology infectious disease expert Profes ...

Vaccine trials inject hope into koala's future

Jul 16, 2007

The first Australian trials of a vaccine developed by Queensland University of Technology that could save Australia's iconic koala from contracting chlamydia are planned to begin later this year.

Recommended for you

Plants with dormant seeds give rise to more species

Apr 18, 2014

Seeds that sprout as soon as they're planted may be good news for a garden. But wild plants need to be more careful. In the wild, a plant whose seeds sprouted at the first warm spell or rainy day would risk disaster. More ...

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Biologists help solve fungi mysteries

(Phys.org) —A new genetic analysis revealing the previously unknown biodiversity and distribution of thousands of fungi in North America might also reveal a previously underappreciated contributor to climate ...

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...

UAE reports 12 new cases of MERS

Health authorities in the United Arab Emirates have announced 12 new cases of infection by the MERS coronavirus, but insisted the patients would be cured within two weeks.