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 • 5:30pm - 6:00pm
Population genetics of Chlamydia pecorum infections in livestock and marsupials

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Chlamydia pecorum is a cause of population declines across many mainland koala populations. It is also endemic to many Australian sheep and cattle breeds, with previous molecular evidence suggesting a close relationship between strains from each host group. Whilst C. pecorum represents a severe problem for koalas in Queensland and New South Wales (‘northern koalas’) it also infects koalas in Victoria and South Australia (‘southern koalas’) where less reports of disease are apparent. To investigate the genetic relationships between strains from different koala populations and to those from livestock in Australia and around the world, we have begun to build a population genetic framework for this important veterinary pathogen. Comparative genomics of C. pecorum have thus far revealed that the majority of koala strains from northern and southern koalas belong to separate evolutionary lineages. Fine-detailed analysis of strains from southern koalas reveals evidence consistent with the management of this population over the last century, including the dissemination of genetic-related strains through koala translocation. Comparison of strains to livestock revealed further molecular evidence of historical and contemporary spillover of C. pecorum from introduced livestock. The latter supports a hypothesis that koala C. pecorum infections are the result of several rare spillover events from livestock and subsequent adaptation to a marsupial host in the recent history of this pathogen.


Adam Polkinghorne

University of Sunshine Coast

Tuesday May 15, 2018 5:30pm - 6:00pm
Plaza P3 Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre