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Katrina M Morris, Denis O'Meally, Thiri Zaw, Xiaomin Song, Amber Gillett, Mark P Molloy, Adam Polkinghorne, Katherine Belov
Production of milk is a key characteristic of mammals, but the features of lactation vary greatly between monotreme, marsupial and eutherian mammals. Marsupials have a short gestation followed by a long lactation period, and milk constituents vary greatly across lactation. Marsupials are born immunologically naïve and rely on their mother's milk for immunological protection. Koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) are an iconic Australian species that are increasingly threatened by disease. Here we use a mammary transcriptome, two milk proteomes and the koala genome to comprehensively characterise the protein components of koala milk across lactation, with a focus on immune constituents...
October 7, 2016: Scientific Reports
Courtney Waugh, Ray Austin, Adam Polkinghorne, Peter Timms
Koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) are affected by debilitating chlamydial disease that can lead to blindness, infertility, and death. The causative agent is the intracellular bacterium Chlamydia pecorum. While antibiotics can be used to treat koala chlamydial infection, they are often ineffective or cause severe dysbiosis to the animal's unique gut flora. Recent work has progressed on the development of a protective vaccine for Chlamydia in the koala. This study demonstrates that the use of a vaccine can have a positive effect in koalas already with clinical signs of ocular disease, suggesting a possible therapeutic effect and an alternative to antibiotic therapy...
October 2, 2016: Biologicals: Journal of the International Association of Biological Standardization
Iona E Maher, Damien P Higgins
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) populations are increasingly vulnerable and one of the main threats is chlamydial infection. Koala retrovirus (KoRV) has been proposed as an underlying cause of the koala's susceptibility to infection with Chlamydia and high rates of lymphoid neoplasia; however, the regionally ubiquitous, endogenous nature of this virus suggests that KoRV A infection is not sufficient for immune suppression to occur. A recently discovered exogenous variant of KoRV, KoRV B, has several structural elements that cause increased pathogenicity in related retroviruses and was associated with lymphoid neoplasia in one study...
2016: PloS One
Emily Burton, Andrew Tribe
Koala populations in southeast Queensland are under threat from many factors, particularly habitat loss, dog attack, vehicle trauma and disease. Animals not killed from these impacts are often rescued and taken into care for rehabilitation, and eventual release back to the wild if deemed to be healthy. This study investigated current rescue, rehabilitation and release data for koalas admitted to the four major wildlife hospitals in southeast Queensland (Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital (AZWH), Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Hospital (CWH), Moggill Koala Hospital (MKH) and the Royal Society for the Prevention Against Cruelty to Animals Wildlife Hospital at Wacol (RSPCA)), and suggests aspects of the practice that may be changed to improve its contribution to the preservation of the species...
2016: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Uwe Fiebig, Martina Keller, Joachim Denner
Many koalas carry an endogenous retrovirus, KoRV-A, in their genome. Recently, a second retrovirus, KoRV-B, was detected in koalas in Japanese and U.S. zoos. However, this virus is not endogenous, differs in the receptor binding site of the surface envelope protein, and uses a receptor different from that of KoRV-A. We describe here a KoRV-B found in koalas at zoos in Germany and Belgium that differs slightly from that found in the Los Angeles zoo.
December 2016: Archives of Virology
Linda E Neaves, Greta J Frankham, Siobhan Dennison, Sean FitzGibbon, Cheyne Flannagan, Amber Gillett, Emily Hynes, Kathrine Handasyde, Kristofer M Helgen, Kyriakos Tsangaras, Alex D Greenwood, Mark D B Eldridge, Rebecca N Johnson
The Australian continent exhibits complex biogeographic patterns but studies of the impacts of Pleistocene climatic oscillation on the mesic environments of the Southern Hemisphere are limited. The koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), one of Australia's most iconic species, was historically widely distributed throughout much of eastern Australia but currently represents a complex conservation challenge. To better understand the challenges to koala genetic health, we assessed the phylogeographic history of the koala...
2016: PloS One
J T Mackie, A K Gillett, C Palmieri, T Feng, D P Higgins
Chlamydiosis is a common infectious disease of koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus), but Chlamydia spp. have not yet been demonstrated to cause pneumonia in these animals. A juvenile male koala died following an episode of respiratory disease. At necropsy examination, the lung tissue was consolidated. Microscopical lesions in the lung included pyogranulomatous bronchopneumonia, proliferation of bronchiolar and alveolar epithelium and interstitial fibrosis. Hyperplastic bronchiolar epithelial cells contained aggregates of small basophilic punctate organisms, which were confirmed as chlamydiae by transmission electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry...
August 24, 2016: Journal of Comparative Pathology
Amba Lawrence, Tamieka Fraser, Amber Gillett, Joel D A Tyndall, Peter Timms, Adam Polkinghorne, Wilhelmina M Huston
The koala, an iconic marsupial native to Australia, is a threatened species in many parts of the country. One major factor in the decline is disease caused by infection with Chlamydia. Current therapeutic strategies to treat chlamydiosis in the koala are limited. This study examines the effectiveness of an inhibitor, JO146, which targets the HtrA serine protease for treatment of C. pecorum and C. pneumoniae in vitro and ex vivo with the aim of developing a novel therapeutic for koala Chlamydia infections. Clinical isolates from koalas were examined for their susceptibility to JO146...
2016: Scientific Reports
Christina T Ruiz-Rodriguez, Yasuko Ishida, Neil D Murray, Stephen J O'Brien, Jennifer A M Graves, Alex D Greenwood, Alfred L Roca
The koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) suffered population declines and local extirpation due to hunting in the early 20th century, especially in southern Australia. Koalas were subsequently reintroduced to the Brisbane Ranges (BR) and Stony Rises (SR) by translocating individuals from a population on French Island descended from a small number of founders. To examine genetic diversity and north-south differentiation, we genotyped 13 microsatellite markers in 46 wild koalas from the BR and SR, and 27 Queensland koalas kept at the US zoos...
2016: Journal of Heredity
Melanie Berenger
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
March 2016: Australian Veterinary Journal
B K Schultz, C Palmieri, V Nicolson, R Larkin, T Keeley, M McGowan, S D Johnston
This study reports the first documented clinical case of a spermatic granuloma and varicocele in a marsupial. Initial clinical presentation included gross morphological changes in the left scrotal cord, epididymis and testis. Ultrasonography of the scrotum and spermatic cord, and gross and histopathological examination after hemicastration, confirmed the condition as a spermatic granuloma affecting the left caput epididymis, with a varicocele in the left proximal spermatic cord, which was causing azoospermia and infertility...
August 2016: Research in Veterinary Science
Matthew E Kinney, Geoffrey W Pye
Koala retrovirus (KoRV) is a gammaretrovirus that has been identified in both captive and free-ranging koalas ( Phascolarctos cinereus ) with variable geographic distribution in Australia. KoRV is capable of both exogenous and endogenous transmission, which provides an interesting research platform for scientists to study active retrovirus endogenization into a host genome and offers veterinary scientists an opportunity to examine the clinical consequences of KoRV infection in koalas. Causation between KoRV and frequently recognized clinical conditions associated with immune suppression and neoplasia in koalas has not been definitively established, however research continues to evaluate a potential association...
June 2016: Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine: Official Publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Emily Flower, Darryl Jones, Lilia Bernede
The acceptance and application of citizen science has risen over the last 10 years, with this rise likely attributed to an increase in public awareness surrounding anthropogenic impacts affecting urban ecosystems. Citizen science projects have the potential to expand upon data collected by specialist researchers as they are able to gain access to previously unattainable information, consequently increasing the likelihood of an effective management program. The primary objective of this research was to develop guidelines for a successful regional-scale citizen science project following a critical analysis of 12 existing citizen science case studies...
2016: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Koa Webster, Edward Narayan, Nicholas de Vos
Physiological responses of wildlife species to zoo visitors should be studied to better understand how wildlife perceive human encounters. We conducted an experimental test of the effect of changes in zoo visitor encounter experiences on the glucocorticoid (GC) response of koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) in a Sydney zoo. Koalas were housed in a multiple-bay enclosure (two to three koalas per bay) for photography sessions with zoo visitors (no touching of koalas permitted by visitors). Following a one-week no-photography baseline period, photography sessions were rotated between three enclosure bays for four weeks (Intensive photography), then between five enclosure bays for an additional four weeks (Standard photography)...
July 11, 2016: General and Comparative Endocrinology
Kate L Ormerod, David L A Wood, Nancy Lachner, Shaan L Gellatly, Joshua N Daly, Jeremy D Parsons, Cristiana G O Dal'Molin, Robin W Palfreyman, Lars K Nielsen, Matthew A Cooper, Mark Morrison, Philip M Hansbro, Philip Hugenholtz
BACKGROUND: Our view of host-associated microbiota remains incomplete due to the presence of as yet uncultured constituents. The Bacteroidales family S24-7 is a prominent example of one of these groups. Marker gene surveys indicate that members of this family are highly localized to the gastrointestinal tracts of homeothermic animals and are increasingly being recognized as a numerically predominant member of the gut microbiota; however, little is known about the nature of their interactions with the host...
2016: Microbiome
Niccolò Alfano, Johan Michaux, Serge Morand, Ken Aplin, Kyriakos Tsangaras, Ulrike Löber, Pierre-Henri Fabre, Yuli Fitriana, Gono Semiadi, Yasuko Ishida, Kristofer M Helgen, Alfred L Roca, Maribeth V Eiden, Alex D Greenwood
UNLABELLED: Gibbon ape leukemia virus (GALV) and koala retrovirus (KoRV) most likely originated from a cross-species transmission of an ancestral retrovirus into koalas and gibbons via one or more intermediate as-yet-unknown hosts. A virus highly similar to GALV has been identified in an Australian native rodent (Melomys burtoni) after extensive screening of Australian wildlife. GALV-like viruses have also been discovered in several Southeast Asian species, although screening has not been extensive and viruses discovered to date are only distantly related to GALV...
September 15, 2016: Journal of Virology
Shahneaz Ali Khan, Marion Desclozeaux, Courtney Waugh, Jon Hanger, Jo Loader, Volker Gerdts, Andrew Potter, Adam Polkinghorne, Kenneth Beagley, Peter Timms
Developing a vaccine against Chlamydia is key to combating widespread mortalities and morbidities associated with this infection in koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus). In previous studies, we have shown that two or three doses of a Recombinant Major Outer Membrane Protein (rMOMP) antigen-based vaccine, combined with immune stimulating complex (ISC) adjuvant, results in strong cellular and humoral immune responses in koalas. We have also separately evaluated a single dose vaccine, utilising a tri-adjuvant formula that comprises polyphosphazine based poly I: C and host defense peptides, with the same antigen...
2016: PloS One
Scott Carver
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
April 28, 2016: Journal of Wildlife Diseases
Martin Predavec, Daniel Lunney, Ben Hope, Eleanor Stalenberg, Ian Shannon, Mathew S Crowther, Indrie Miller
Scientists have traditionally collected data on whether a population is increasing, decreasing, or staying the same, but such studies are often limited by geographic scale and time frame. This means that for many species, understanding of trends comes from only part of their ranges at particular periods. Working with citizen scientists has the potential to overcome these limits. Citizen science has the added benefit of exposing citizens to the scientific process and engaging them in management outcomes. We examined a different way of using citizen scientists (instead of data collection)...
June 2016: Conservation Biology: the Journal of the Society for Conservation Biology
Nobuyuki Kawai, Hiroki Koda
Humans quickly detect the presence of evolutionary threats through visual perception. Many theorists have considered humans to be predisposed to respond to both snakes and spiders as evolutionarily fear-relevant stimuli. Evidence supports that human adults, children, and snake-naive monkeys all detect pictures of snakes among pictures of flowers more quickly than vice versa, but recent neurophysiological and behavioral studies suggest that spiders may, in fact, be processed similarly to nonthreat animals. The evidence of quick detection and rapid fear learning by primates is limited to snakes, and no such evidence exists for spiders, suggesting qualitative differences between fear of snakes and fear of spiders...
August 2016: Journal of Comparative Psychology
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