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Achille S Nikièma, Lassane Koala, Rory J Post, Alain B Paré, Claude Montant Kafando, François Drabo, Adrien M G Belem, Roch K Dabiré, Soungalo Traoré
Historically, the whole of Burkina Faso was considered to be endemic for onchocerciasis (except a small area in the far north of the country) with prevalence rates 60-80%, but all endemic areas were included in the World Health Organisation Onchocerciasis Control Programme, which operated a system of vector control by larviciding beginning in 1974. In Burkina Faso larviciding had been phased out by 1989 when it was considered that onchocerciasis had been reduced to levels below the transmission breakpoint (and any residual infections would disappear without further intervention)...
May 18, 2018: Acta Tropica
Isabelle Russell, Peter Timms, Jon Hanger, Jo Loader, Amber Gillett, Courtney Waugh
Chlamydia pecorum in koalas ( Phascolarctos cinereus) is considered a sexually transmitted infection. Analysis of samples from koala joeys (<1 yr) suggested that mother-to-young direct transmission was also occurring. Further, evidence suggested that joeys from vaccinated mothers were less likely to contract infections than joeys with unvaccinated mothers.
May 7, 2018: Journal of Wildlife Diseases
K N Speight, P Hicks, C Graham, W Boardman, W G Breed, E Manthorpe, O Funnell, L Woolford
OBJECTIVE: This study reports necropsy findings of koalas from the Mount Lofty Ranges region in order to identify health threats to this mainland South Australian population. METHODS: Koalas from the Mount Lofty Ranges region (n = 85) that had died or been euthanased on welfare grounds were examined at necropsy during 2012-13 at the School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, University of Adelaide. Disease findings, approximate age, sex and body condition of koalas were recorded...
May 2018: Australian Veterinary Journal
Lyndal S Hulse, Danica Hickey, Jessica M Mitchell, Kenneth W Beagley, William Ellis, Stephen D Johnston
Infectious diseases have contributed to the decline in the health of koala ( Phascolarctos cinereus) populations in the wild in some regions of Australia. Herein we report the development and validation of 2 multiplex real-time PCR (rtPCR) panels for the simultaneous detection of Mycoplasma spp., Ureaplasma spp., Bordetella bronchiseptica, and Chlamydia, including speciation and quantification of Chlamydia, in ocular, reproductive, and nasal swab samples in addition to semen and male urogenital and reproductive tissues, from koalas...
April 1, 2018: Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
David Alvarez-Ponce, María Torres-Sánchez, Felix Feyertag, Asmita Kulkarni, Taylen Nappi
DNA methylation is mediated by a conserved family of DNA methyltransferases (Dnmts). The human genome encodes three active Dnmts (Dnmt1, Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b), the tRNA methyltransferase Dnmt2, and the regulatory protein Dnmt3L. Despite their high degree of conservation among different species, genes encoding Dnmts have been duplicated and/or lost in multiple lineages throughout evolution, indicating that the DNA methylation machinery has some potential to undergo evolutionary change. However, little is known about the extent to which this machinery, or the methylome, varies among vertebrates...
2018: PloS One
Anthony J Schultz, Romane H Cristescu, Bethan L Littleford-Colquhoun, Damian Jaccoud, Céline H Frère
Maintaining genetic diversity is a crucial component in conserving threatened species. For the iconic Australian koala, there is little genetic information on wild populations that is not either skewed by biased sampling methods (e.g., sampling effort skewed toward urban areas) or of limited usefulness due to low numbers of microsatellites used. The ability to genotype DNA extracted from koala scats using next-generation sequencing technology will not only help resolve location sample bias but also improve the accuracy and scope of genetic analyses (e...
March 2018: Ecology and Evolution
Alistair R Legione, Jemima Amery-Gale, Michael Lynch, Leesa Haynes, James R Gilkerson, Fiona M Sansom, Joanne M Devlin
Koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) are iconic Australian marsupials currently threatened by several processes, including infectious diseases and ecological disruption. Infection with Chlamydia pecorum, is considered a key driver of population decline. The clinical sign of 'wet bottom', a staining of the rump associated with urinary incontinence, is often caused by chlamydial urinary tract infections. However, wet bottom has been recorded in koalas free of C. pecorum, suggesting other causative agents in those individuals...
2018: PloS One
Katherine E Dahlhausen, Ladan Doroud, Alana J Firl, Adam Polkinghorne, Jonathan A Eisen
Koalas ( Phascolarctos cinereus ) are arboreal marsupials native to Australia that eat a specialized diet of almost exclusively eucalyptus leaves. Microbes in koala intestines are known to break down otherwise toxic compounds, such as tannins, in eucalyptus leaves. Infections by Chlamydia , obligate intracellular bacterial pathogens, are highly prevalent in koala populations. If animals with Chlamydia infections are received by wildlife hospitals, a range of antibiotics can be used to treat them. However, previous studies suggested that koalas can suffer adverse side effects during antibiotic treatment...
2018: PeerJ
Laura J Schmertmann, Kathryn Stalder, Donald Hudson, Patricia Martin, Mariano Makara, Wieland Meyer, Richard Malik, Mark B Krockenberger
Disseminated cryptococcosis caused by Cryptococcus gattii (molecular type VGI) was diagnosed in an adult free-ranging female koala (Phascolarctos cinereus). Subclinical cryptococcosis was later diagnosed in this koala's joey. In the adult koala, a pathological fracture of the tibia was associated with the bone lysis of marked focal cryptococcal osteomyelitis. Limb-sparing orthopedic intervention, in the setting of disseminated cryptococcosis, was judged to have a poor prognosis, and the adult koala was euthanized...
February 24, 2018: Medical Mycology: Official Publication of the International Society for Human and Animal Mycology
Delaney Burnard, Amber Gillett, Adam Polkinghorne
A small number of koalas ( Phascolarctos cinereus) presented to wildlife hospitals in Queensland, Australia, with signs of arthritis in one or more joints. Molecular analysis identified Chlamydia pecorum in the tarsal tissue and synovial fluid of an affected joint of a koala, suggesting that in addition to livestock, C. pecorum has the potential to cause arthritis in the koala.
March 2, 2018: Journal of Wildlife Diseases
N Sarker, J Fabijan, R D Emes, F Hemmatzadeh, J Meers, J Moreton, H Owen, J M Seddon, G Simmons, N Speight, D Trott, L Woolford, R E Tarlinton
To better understand host and immune response to diseases, gene expression studies require identification of reference genes with stable expression for accurate normalisation. This study describes the identification and testing of reference genes with stable expression profiles in koala lymph node tissues across two genetically distinct koala populations. From the 25 most stable genes identified in transcriptome analysis, 11 genes were selected for verification using reverse transcription quantitative PCR, in addition to the commonly used ACTB and GAPDH genes...
February 20, 2018: Scientific Reports
Roland Frey, David Reby, Guido Fritsch, Benjamin D Charlton
Koalas are characterised by a highly unusual vocal anatomy, with a descended larynx and velar vocal folds, allowing them to produce calls at disproportionately low frequencies. Here we use advanced imaging techniques, histological data, classical macroscopic dissection and behavioural observations to provide the first detailed description and interpretation of male and female koala vocal anatomy. We show that both males and females have an elongated pharynx and soft palate, resulting in a permanently descended larynx...
April 2018: Journal of Anatomy
Yuniar Devi Utami, Hirokazu Kuwahara, Takumi Murakami, Takahiro Morikawa, Kaito Sugaya, Kumiko Kihara, Masahiro Yuki, Nathan Lo, Pinsurang Deevong, Sasitorn Hasin, Warin Boonriam, Tetsushi Inoue, Akinori Yamada, Moriya Ohkuma, Yuichi Hongoh
Termite guts harbor diverse yet-uncultured bacteria, including a non-photosynthetic cyanobacterial group, the class "Melainabacteria". We herein reported the phylogenetic diversity of "Melainabacteria" in the guts of diverse termites and conducted a single-cell genome analysis of a melainabacterium obtained from the gut of the termite Termes propinquus. We performed amplicon sequencing of 16S rRNA genes from the guts of 60 termite and eight cockroach species, and detected melainabacterial sequences in 48 out of the 68 insect species, albeit with low abundances (0...
March 29, 2018: Microbes and Environments
Katrien De Cocker, Sebastien F M Chastin, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, Ineke Imbo, Jeroen Stragier, Greet Cardon
There is a lack of research on how to communicate public health guidelines. Citizen science (CS) has been an effective way to involve the public in research. This study analyses the reach of a well-established CS experiment, launched during an annual national science event, to understand if it could be used as communication strategy for public health issues. A short playful online survey contained tailored health-related messages associated to an "animal totem" profile, based on the combination of sitting and physical activity levels (koala: high sitting, low activity; gorilla: high sitting, high activity; zebra: low sitting, low activity; bee: low sitting, high activity)...
February 7, 2018: Health Communication
Danielle Madden, Alessandra Whaite, Elizabeth Jones, Katherine Belov, Peter Timms, Adam Polkinghorne
Infectious diseases are contributing to the decline of the iconic Australian marsupial, the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus). Infections with the obligate intracellular bacteria, Chlamydia pecorum, cause debilitating ocular and urogenital-tract disease while the koala-retrovirus (KoRV) has been implicated in host immunosuppression and exacerbation of chlamydial pathogenesis. Although histological studies have provided insight into the basic architecture of koala immune tissues, our understanding of the koala immune response to infectious disease has been limited, until recently, by a lack of species-specific immune reagents...
May 2018: Developmental and Comparative Immunology
Imke Grimm, Jessika Dumke, Jens Dreier, Cornelius Knabbe, Tanja Vollmer
Streptococcus gallolyticus subsp. gallolyticus is a commensal bacterium of the human gastrointestinal tract, and a pathogen causing infective endocarditis and other biofilm-associated infections via exposed collagen. This study focuses on the characterization of the biofilm formation and collagen adhesion of S. gallolyticus subsp. gallolyticus under different conditions. In this study, it has been observed that the isolate UCN 34 is resistant to 20 mg/ml lysozyme in BHI medium, whereas the strain BAA-2069 builds more biofilm in the presence of lysozyme compared to in a control of BHI without lysozyme...
2018: PloS One
Santiago Sandoval-Motta, Maximino Aldana, Alejandro Frank
The importance of microorganisms in human biology is undeniable. The amount of research that supports that microbes have a fundamental role in animal and plant physiology is substantial and increasing every year. Even though we are only beginning to comprehend the broadness and complexity of microbial communities, evolutionary theories need to be recast in the light of such discoveries to fully understand and incorporate the role of microbes in our evolution. Fundamental evolutionary concepts such as diversity, heredity, selection, speciation, etc...
November 2017: Archives of Medical Research
M Mominul Islam, Martina Jelocnik, Wilhelmina M Huston, Peter Timms, Adam Polkinghorne
Chlamydia pecorum is an important intracellular bacterium that causes a range of diseases in animals, including a native Australian marsupial, the koala. In humans and animals, a gamma interferon (IFN-γ)-mediated immune response is important for the control of intracellular bacteria. The present study tested the hypotheses that C. pecorum can escape IFN-γ-mediated depletion of host cell tryptophan pools. In doing so, we demonstrated that, unlike Chlamydia trachomatis , C. pecorum is completely resistant to IFN-γ in human epithelial cells...
April 2018: Infection and Immunity
Rebecca Larkin, Chiara Palmieri, Motoharu Oishi, Lyndal Hulse, Stephen D Johnston
Studies documenting the application of ultrasonography to depict normal and pathological changes in koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus), especially in the male, are scarce. Sixty-two wild koalas were used in this study to define ultrasonographic protocols and features for the assessment of the male koala reproductive tract. Testis, epididymis and spermatic cord were examined using a hockey stick transducer. The normal koala testis showed a homogeneous echogenicity and an obvious hyper-echoic band corresponding to the tunica albuginea...
April 2018: Research in Veterinary Science
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