Vaccine for koala chlamydia close

July 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: Using synthetic biology for chlamydia vaccines

Related Stories

Using synthetic biology for chlamydia vaccines

September 13, 2017

A multidisciplinary scientific team at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has made significant advances in developing a vaccine for chlamydia using synthetic biology, sponsored by a two-year National Institutes ...

Vaccine trials inject hope into koala's future

July 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.

World-first research will save koalas

April 9, 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.

Recommended for you

Taming 'wild' electrons in graphene

October 23, 2017

Graphene - a one-atom-thick layer of the stuff in pencils - is a better conductor than copper and is very promising for electronic devices, but with one catch: Electrons that move through it can't be stopped.

Mountain glaciers shrinking across the West

October 22, 2017

Until recently, glaciers in the United States have been measured in two ways: placing stakes in the snow, as federal scientists have done each year since 1957 at South Cascade Glacier in Washington state; or tracking glacier ...

When words, structured data are placed on single canvas

October 22, 2017

If "ugh" is your favorite word to describe entering, amending and correcting data on the rows and columns on spreadsheets you are not alone. Coda, a new name in the document business, feels it's time for a change. This is ...

Dawn mission extended at Ceres

October 20, 2017

NASA has authorized a second extension of the Dawn mission at Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. During this extension, the spacecraft will descend to lower altitudes than ever before ...

Metacognition training boosts gen chem exam scores

October 20, 2017

It's a lesson in scholastic humility: You waltz into an exam, confident that you've got a good enough grip on the class material to swing an 80 percent or so, maybe a 90 if some of the questions go your way.

Carbon coating gives biochar its garden-greening power

October 20, 2017

For more than 100 years, biochar, a carbon-rich, charcoal-like substance made from oxygen-deprived plant or other organic matter, has both delighted and puzzled scientists. As a soil additive, biochar can store carbon and ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.