The AVA Annual Conference is the nation’s premier veterinary event, covering all fields of veterinary science and in 2017 brought together over 920 veterinary professionals and 115 exhibitors.

We hope you will join us for the 2018 AVA Annual Conference in Brisbane, 13-18 May.    
Visit conference.ava.com.au to register.    To download a pdf file of the entire program click here.
Tuesday, May 15 • 5:00pm - 5:30pm
Understanding the factors influencing chlamydial blindness in koalas

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule and see who's attending!

Chlamydia pecorum is a key pathogen of the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus). Similar to Chlamydia trachomatis infections in humans (trachoma), ocular infections lead to debilitating blindness. While disease pathologies appear to mirror that of human trachoma, the factors that influence koala chlamydial ocular disease progression are currently unknown. In the present study, a range of microbiological and immunological factors were assessed in a large cross-sectional cohort of koalas with different stages of chlamydial ocular disease. Using a C. pecorum-specific qPCR, a strong relationship was found between chlamydial load and the onset of acute and chronic active disease. Similar to human studies, however, the progression to late stage scarring pathologies was independent of chlamydial load. While no strong relationship was observed between retroviral co-infection and systemic humoral immune responses to C. pecorum, RNASeq analysis of the mucosal response revealed key differences in the expression of proinflammatory cytokines between healthy infected and diseased animals as well as the presence of additional key host cell markers that may be used to predict the outcome of a koala C. pecorum ocular infection and to support the ongoing evaluation of a prototype koala chlamydial vaccine.


Adam Polkinghorne

University of Sunshine Coast

Tuesday May 15, 2018 5:00pm - 5:30pm
Plaza P3 Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre