Australian Museum Journal KoRV and Chlamydia: are they co-culprits?

Shortform:
Timms, 2014. Tech. Rep. Aust. Mus., Online 24: 89–90
Author(s):
Peter Timms
Year published:
2014
Title:
KoRV and Chlamydia: are they co-culprits?
Serial title:
Technical Reports of the Australian Museum (online)
Volume:
24
Start page:
89
End page:
90
DOI:
10.3853/j.1835-4211.24.2014.1623
Language:
English
Date published:
29 May 2014
Cover date:
29 May 2014
ISSN:
1835-4211 (online)
Publisher:
The Australian Museum
Place published:
Sydney, Australia
Subjects:
RETROVIRUS; ANIMAL DISEASE; VIROLOGY; MAMMALIA: MARSUPIALIA
Digitized:
29 May 2014
Available online:
29 May 2014
Reference number:
1623
EndNote package:
EndNote file
Title page:
Title page (163kb PDF)
Complete work:
Complete work (310kb PDF)

Abstract

There are two main infectious disease threats for the koala; Chlamydia and KoRV. A major question is whether or not KoRV predisposes koalas to more severe chlamydial disease. In the only study to date that has examined co-infections, KoRV load (as determined by qPCR) and chlamydial load (as determined by qPCR) and chlamydial disease were examined in wild koalas. While there was a statistically significant correlation between Chlamydia infection load and Chlamydia clinical disease score, there was no significant correlation between KoRV load and either Chlamydia infection load or Chlamydia clinical disease score, however the groups were not ideally constructed and hence additional comparisons are needed. If KoRV does predispose koalas to more severe chlamydial disease, one would expect it to do this via an effect on the koala immune system. A series of Chlamydia vaccine trials in captive as well as wild koalas are showing that koalas in fact appear to make perfectly normal antibody and cytokine responses to vaccine antigens, even if they have high circulating KoRV loads, arguing against an immune suppressive effect by KoRV.