Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Vaccine trials inject hope into koala's future

17.07.2007
The first Australian trials of a vaccine developed by Queensland University of Technology that could save Australia's iconic koala from contracting chlamydia are planned to begin later this year.

Professor Peter Timms, from QUT's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, said chlamydia was a major threat to the continued survival of koalas with almost all populations affected by the disease.

"The trial is planned to begin before the end of the year and will test the vaccine's ability to induce a good immune response in the koala against chlamydia," he said.

"Assuming that this first trial is successful, then future trials can determine if this immune response is able to protect the koalas against chlamydial disease.

"We've been able to develop the vaccine for koalas as a result of our studies on the development of human chlamydial vaccines done in the mouse model. We have identified several novel vaccine proteins that we hope will protect koalas as well."

Professor Timms said chlamydia in koalas was a significant cause of infertility, urinary tract infections, and inflammation in the lining of the eye that often led to blindness.

"The numbers of koalas with chlamydia seems to be increasing," he said.

"As much as 40-50 per cent of koalas coming into care in both Queensland and NSW are showing clinical signs of the disease and it seems to be getting worse."

The vaccine will be administered to a small number of koalas via an injection either under the skin or intramuscularly.

"The first phase of the trial will run for between six and 12 months," he said.

"We will have initial results within the first six months but we will continue to monitor the koalas for 12 months to determine how long the vaccine stimulates an immune response in the koalas and whether or not a booster shot is required.

"There is no danger that a koala without chlamydia will contract the disease from the vaccine."

Professor Timms said the vaccine trial was a significant step in the right direction in fighting the threat of chlamydia in koalas.

QUT's koala vaccine team also includes Professor Ken Beagely and PhD student Asad Sukar.

"While we have funding for the initial trial we are hoping to attract additional financial support for us to be able to continue this important work," he said.

"We seem to be doing good science but we need more funding. We are looking for corporate or individual support to fund further research in this area."

Professor Timms said by investing in chlamydia research, people were giving hope to the future survival of koalas.

QUT's extensive research into chlamydia will be presented at the 2007 International Chlamydia Conference which is on today and tomorrow (July 16-17) at Kelvin Grove.

The conference, hosted by QUT, will bring together national and international experts to discuss the latest research and developments.

Sandra Hutchinson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.qut.edu.au

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Foxes in the city: citizen science helps researchers to study urban wildlife
14.12.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

nachricht Machine learning helps predict worldwide plant-conservation priorities
04.12.2018 | Ohio State University

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>