Believe it or not, Chlamydia poses a major threat to koala populations around Australia.
That’s why microbiology researchers, Professor Peter Timms and Dr Adam Polkinghorne from the University of the Sunshine Coast, and Professor Ken Beagley of QUT, have been trialling a vaccine to fight chlamydia amongst captive and wild koalas.
The trial involved 60 koalas from the Moreton Bay region, with 30 koalas given the vaccine and 30 koalas used as controls. Those given the vaccine showed good immune responses with overall infection rates decreased.
The research was funded and supported by a large network of groups including the Australian Research Council and the Queensland Government as well as veterinary, wildlife, and conservation groups in Australia. This breakthrough is a great step towards shielding the koala population against blindness and infertility often caused by the disease.
Through their research, Australian universities make significant leaps in the fields of environmental and animal conservation. Our Australian universities need sufficient investment toward research and innovation so we can remain economically competitive globally.
[img source] AusGrid (CCA2.0) bit.ly/1HBLdQZ