The University of the Sunshine Coast announced this month that the third phase of a clinical trial for an experimental vaccine had begun. Chlamydia can be fatal to animals. If left untreated, it causes complications similar to those seen in humans, such as pinkeye, genital pain, discharge, and cysts.
According to a 2019 study published in the journal Scientific Reports, approximately half of the koalas in one geographic area of Australia tested positive for the infection, and many of those tested positive were also infertile.
According to the Australian Koala Foundation, Australia has lost an estimated 30% of its koalas since 2018 due to wildfires, drought, heat waves, and land clearing.The vaccine was found to be safe in the first two phases of trials at the University of the Sunshine Coast, according to Peter Timms, a professor of microbiology, who added that the study included around 200 wild and captive koalas.
The next phase will involve 400 koalas, including those in sanctuaries and those brought to the hospital for treatment, he said.They will be divided into two groups: 200 will receive the single-shot vaccine, and 200 will serve as controls.”
While this vaccination will directly benefit each of the animals,” Timms said in a statement, “the trial will also focus on the protection provided by vaccination.” “All koalas will be microchipped, and the hospital will keep track of any animals that return for any reason over the next year.”
Timms stated that his team is collaborating with vaccine manufacturers and government regulators to expedite the release of a vaccine in the event that the trial results are positive.A human vaccine for Chlamydia is also being tested in clinical trials in the United States. According to the National Institutes of Health, a Phase 1 trial testing the safety and immunogenicity of a human chlamydia vaccine that began in 2019 is expected to be completed next year.
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