Unlike the sexually-transmitted form of Chlamydia, Chlamydia pneumoniae is a major bacterial germ that causes widespread respiratory disease in humans.
The discovery was made by an international team of scientists from QUT's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation and the Institute for Genome Sciences (IGS) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, who used koalas to prove the link between Chlamydia pneumoniae in animals and humans.
"We were able to sequence the genome (an organism's hereditary information) of Chlamydia pneumoniae obtained from an Australian koala and found evidence that human Chlamydia pneumoniae was originally derived from an animal source," Professor Timms said.
"Infections acquired from wildlife, known as zoonotic infections, are one of the most significant growing threats to global human health.
"We've already seen the impact of zoonotic infections with the H1N1 influenza pandemic which spread worldwide and originated from swines/pigs."
Professor Timms said the research revealed evidence that humans were originally infected zoonotically by animal isolates of Chlamydia pneumoniae which have adapted to humans primarily through the processes of gene decay.
He said Chlamydia pneumoniae was originally an animal pathogen that crossed the species barrier to humans and had adapted to the point where it could now be transmitted between humans.
"What we think now is that Chlamydia pneumoniae originated from amphibians such as frogs," he said.
Professor Timms said it was important to understand the origins of zoonotic infections to know the risk animal infections have to humans.
"It means we can look for solutions such as developing improved diagnostic tests, ensuring people take appropriate precautions to prevent the disease spreading and also develop vaccines," he said.
Assistant Professor Garry Myers from the Institute for Genome Sciences said the findings indicated that the high disease burden of Chlamydia pneumoniae in humans may represent a major public health corollary of zoonotic infections.
The findings from the study have been published in the international Journal of Bacteriology.Media contacts:
Mechelle McMahon | EurekAlert!
Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences