The disease is also the one that most often sends koalas to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, the country’s busiest wildlife hospital, located 30 miles north of Endeavour. But chlamydia — a pared-down, single-celled bacterium that acts like a virus — has been especially successful, infecting everything from frogs to fish to parakeets. Rather than treat animals once they are already sick, a widespread vaccine would protect koalas from any future sexual encounter and from passing the infection from mother to newborn. Koalas infected with chlamydia may be able to help us produce a vaccine from this widespread STD (or sexually transmitted disease).Chlamydia is a bacterium that is acting like a virus, and it has infected many vertebrates, including frogs, parakeets, fish, and yes, even koalas and humans. “The figures are 40 percent chlamydia, 30 percent cars, 10 percent dogs,” said Dr. Rosemary Booth, the hospital’s director. Humans don’t have a monopoly on sexually transmitted infections. Koalas today have even more to worry about. That meant she could be recruited for the current trial, which is testing a combined vaccine against chlamydia and the koala retrovirus known as KoRV, a virus in the same family as H.I.V. Australian koalas ( Phascolarctos cinereus ) are widely infected with two species of Chlamydia … ), Still, Dr. Timms said, the challenge was worth attempting: “The reason that we’re making a case that in between mouse and humans you should put koalas — rather than guinea pigs, minipigs and monkeys — is that koalas address all of the weaknesses, to some degree, that the others have.”, Paola Massari, an immunologist at Tufts Medical School, is collaborating with Dr. Timms to test a different potential vaccine in koalas. And then when they’re 28 and they’re like, ‘Oh, I’m ready to have a baby, everything’s a mess.’”. In Australia, nearly 50% of the Koala population is suffering from this highly contagious Chlamydia disease. “Looking at her, she probably has chlamydia,” she said. Ms. McKay already had an inkling of what the trouble might be. But chlamydia still reigns supreme: In parts of Queensland, the heart of the epidemic, the disease helped fuel an 80 percent decline over two decades. Koala STDs could hold key to tackling human chlamydia Queensland researchers have identified how chlamydia, typically associated with female infertility, damages sperm … With “koala work, as hard as that is, and as difficult as that is, the results you get are the ones that matter.”. Koala Science Research - Community Website evidence-that-human-chlamydia-pneumoniae-was-zoonotically-acquired - Koala Science Community KOALA … What is certain is that the research done on human chlamydia has greatly benefited koalas. Some of these symptoms can lead to severe inflammation, massive cysts and scarring of the reproductive tract. He has spent the past decade developing a chlamydia vaccine for koalas, and is now conducting trials on wild koalas, in the hopes that his formula will soon be ready for wider release. Like most … “Because koalas really do get chlamydia and they really do get reproductive tract disease, so everything you do is relevant.”, Outside Australia, many researchers say the idea of a koala model is clever but difficult to implement. In koalas, chlamydia’s ravages are extreme, leading to severe inflammation, massive cysts and scarring of the reproductive tract. They settled on “native bear” and gave it the genus name Phascolarctos (from the Greek for “leather pouch” and “bear”), spawning the misconception that the koala bear is, in fact, a bear. 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