Scientists find better way to treat koala chlamydia

Published:

Amy Robbins, PhD candidate at USC

Koalas can recover fully from chlamydia with half the antibiotic treatment they currently receive, a researcher from the University of the Sunshine Coast has found.

USC PhD researcher Dr Amy Robbins, who led a study across 167 cases, said koalas with chlamydia had previously been prescribed 45 days of antibiotic treatment, but the study found a course that lasted between 14 and 28 days led to similar success.

“So even when the antibiotics have done their job and the infection has gone, in the past we’ve often continued to treat them based on the residual symptoms caused by inflammation and scarring, which can take a while to settle down,” Dr Robbins said.

“We found that while the symptoms may remain, the infection had cleared in less than 28 days.”

She said the findings could allow clinics to spread resources further by completing treatments sooner and releasing cured koalas back into the wild, in turn reducing the risk of complication and ultimately allowing them to treat more koalas for the debilitating condition.

“We’re not talking about reinventing the wheel, it’s just a refinement of the current treatment protocol, and the next step is to see if we get the same results cutting the treatment window to just 14 days.”

The four-year study, published in PlosOne was conducted at Endeavour Veterinary Ecology at Toorbul in Queensland on behalf of Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads for the Moreton Bay Rail Project.

Another finding from the study was that females who had lost the ability to breed because of chlamydial disease could be re-introduced to the wild after treatment without the risk of further infecting others.

“There has previously been concern that sterile females are shedding chlamydia to other koalas but if they’re treated appropriately the data don’t really support that,” Dr Robbins said.

“None of them got chlamydia again after an ovariohysterectomy and antibiotic treatment. They can just go out and live their lives without breeding or fear of re-contracting the disease.”

She said it was important to understand the bacteria to treat it effectively and is continuing her research into how to prevent some of the negative outcomes of the infection, like infertility.

“In some areas koala populations have decreased by 80 percent so we need to ensure chlamydia doesn’t stop the females from breeding successfully, so the populations are able to recover.”

 
Animals Wildlife or Pets Conservation Environment Health & Wellness Science & Research University & TAFE
Social:   

University Of The Sunshine Coast : View Full Profile
90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
07 5430 1234
University Of The Sunshine Coast
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
Hollywood star praises USC koala detection dog 04 December 2019 | A USC detection dog called Bear that is working to find injured and displaced koalas after recent bushfires in Australia has gained the attention of Hollywood heavyweights Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio. More information...
Graduate wins prestigious young planner award 04 December 2019 | A USC planning graduate described as a brilliant role model to others across Australia has been named Queensland’s Young Planner of the Year. More information...
USC academic launches ‘Christmas book’ with a twist 04 December 2019 | A best-selling new novel written last Christmas on the Sunshine Coast may play on popular Christmas song lyrics – but the story is far from whimsical. More information...
Job hunt support for students with a disability 02 December 2019 | USC has signed up for a national employment support program aimed at improving job opportunities for university graduates with a disability. More information...
Students’ water use device wins three national awards 01 December 2019 | An innovative device created by four USC Engineering Honours students to give householders more control over their water use has won three national GovHack awards. More information...
Doctoral playwright shines light on stay-at-home dads 02 December 2019 | Former theatre director and drama educator Richard Finn has drawn from his latest role in life to write a play for his Doctor of Creative Arts at USC. More information...
Sustainable business focus for Orange Sky leader 29 November 2019 | An organisation that provides regular laundry and shower services for people experiencing homelessness has appointed a USC graduate to lead its operations around Australia and New Zealand.  More information...
Clinical trial of medication that targets triglycerides 01 December 2019 | USC Clinical Trials will participate in a study of an investigational medication for the treatment of dyslipidaemia – a condition that involves abnormally elevated levels of lipids (fats) in the blood. More information...
Japan calling for scholarship-winning students 28 November 2019 | Two USC students majoring in Japanese language will have the opportunity to hone their skills further in Japan next year thanks to an esteemed Australian Government scholarship. More information...
USC joins $245m space industry research program 28 November 2019 | Fourteen University of the Sunshine Coast research academics and staff have joined the largest space industry research collaboration in Australia’s history, worth $245 million over the next seven years. More information...


comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service