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Australia Starts Chlamydia Vaccine trial in koalas

Australian university Scientists have decided to help the island’s koala population healthier with a Chlamydia vaccine for the marsupials. The University of the Sunshine Coast said this month that it had started the third phase of a clinical trial for an experimental vaccine.

Chlamydia can be deadly for animals. It causes complications similar to those in humans if left untreated, including pinkeye, genital pain, discharge and cysts. The study published in 2019 said that nearly half of the koalas in one geographic area of Australia tested positive for the infection, and many of those that tested positive were also infertile.

Australia has lost an estimated 30% of its koalas because of wildfires, drought, heatwaves and land clearing, the Australian Koala Foundation said last month.The vaccine has proven to be safe in the first two phases of the University of the Sunshine Coast’s trials, Peter Timms, a professor of microbiology, said in a statement, adding that the study involved around 200 wild and captive koalas. He said that the next phase will involve 400 koalas, including those that live in sanctuaries, as well as animals that enter the hospital for treatment.

They will be divided into two groups: 200 will get the single-shot vaccine, and 200 will be in a control group.Timms said his team was working with vaccine manufacturers and government regulators to speed the release of a vaccine in case the trial results are positive.

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