1887

Abstract

infection is a threat to the health of free-ranging koalas () in Australia. Utilizing an extensive sample archive we determined the prevalence of in koalas within six regions of Victoria, Australia. The genotypes of the detected were characterized to better understand the epidemiology of this pathogen in Victorian koalas. Despite many studies in northern Australia (i.e. Queensland and New South Wales), prior studies in Victorian koalas are limited. We detected in 125/820 (15 %) urogenital swabs, but in only one ocular swab. Nucleotide sequencing of the molecular marker revealed that the majority (90/114) of samples typed were genotype B. This genotype has not been reported in northern koalas. In general, infection in Victorian koalas is associated with milder clinical signs compared with infection in koalas in northern populations. Although disease pathogenesis is likely to be multifactorial, the high prevalence of genotype B in Victoria may suggest it is less pathogenic. All but three koalas had genotypes unique to southern koala populations (i.e. Victoria and South Australia). These included a novel genotype and two genotypes associated with livestock. Regression analysis determined that significant factors for the presence of infection were sex and geographical location. The presence of ‘wet bottom’ in males and the presence of reproductive tract pathology in females were significantly associated with infection, suggesting variation in clinical disease manifestations between sexes.

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2016-05-01
2020-01-29
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