Understanding and combating infectious diseases in koalas

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1. Please provide a short summary of your research, project or technology.

The long term survival of koalas is under threat and they need our help. Koalas suffer from two major infectious diseases. The first disease is infection with the bacteria Chlamydia, which causes eye infections (leading to blindness) and reproductive and bladder infections (leading to severe pain and infertility). Just like people, some koalas can get Chlamydia and not appear sick. Combining laboratory testing and mathematical models, I am evaluating risk factors to understand why some koalas get very sick. The second major disease is a virus, known as koala retrovirus (KoRV). KoRV appears to weaken the koala’s immune system. I have shown that Queensland koalas with type B KoRV are much more likely to develop chlamydial disease and cancer. I also learned the most common way KoRV was being spread was from mother to joey. This new information is a huge step forward in managing disease in the wild.


Abigail Elizur
almost 2 years ago

Fantastic work, so important!

Iran Yousefi
almost 2 years ago

Great work and opportunity to care for animals

LanSia Favelle
almost 2 years ago

Such vital work for the health of our unique marsupials

Barry Ziola
almost 2 years ago

From beer spoilage to Koalas - who 'would have thunk it"? You go girl - well done.

meaghan smith
almost 2 years ago

Great work Bonnie! Both in the lab and with the community! Such crucial work for our beautiful koalas!

Kelisha Lyndon
almost 2 years ago

Great video, awesome to see you research into managing disease in Koalas. It is inspiring to see your commitment to fostering the next generation of STEM professionals through your teaching and research!

Joanne Macdonald
almost 2 years ago

Wonderful - great work Bonnie.

Ken Jarrell
almost 2 years ago

Very interesting work Bonnie. I saw the plight of Koalas in an article a couple of years back and added a mention of Chlamydia and Koalas to my introductory microbiology class and then realized you were working on it too. Made it even more interesting. Good luck.

Krisztina Morris
almost 2 years ago

Fantastic, I wish you the best of luck!

Alessandra Whaite
almost 2 years ago

Well done and best of luck, Bonnie!

Andrea Smida
almost 2 years ago

Good luck, in Brisbane for next 2 weeks beautiful country!!, good luck and good research initiative

Deanne Kieselbach
almost 2 years ago

Voted and good luck Bonnie

Stephen Murray
almost 2 years ago

Well done Bonnie, beautiful video and very informative and interesting

Dave Chaban
almost 2 years ago

Excellent work Bonnie!! Very good presentation. Good luck with your research.

Rodney Geddes
almost 2 years ago

This is important work for the preservation of Koala's. Thank you and Best wishes Bonnie.

Norma Geddes
almost 2 years ago

You have always pushed to achieve the best and this is another one of your great achievements. Congratulations and good luck. xx

Wendy Gay
almost 2 years ago

Good luck, Bonnie. Go get it girl!

Rochelle Waymouth
almost 2 years ago

Keep up the great work Bonnie, keep those national treasures healthy for us now and in the future.

Stewart Pursehouse
almost 2 years ago

Well done Bonnie.
New to Australia and already working to save our national treasures.
Thank you.

miki miki
almost 2 years ago

Good luck!

Trisha Roe
almost 2 years ago

Good luck Bonnie

Michelle Lyon
almost 2 years ago

Awesome work Bonnie!

Adina Vultur
almost 2 years ago

Good luck Bonnie! Exciting research!

Chris Farnell
almost 2 years ago

All the best

Teenus Sudheej
almost 2 years ago

Bonnie, you have been one of the most influential mentors I have had. There are many occasions on certain days when I think how you would do things. Thank you for teaching me science can be fun.


Dr Quigley brings a range of experience from both human and animal health fields to study what factors are important contributors to koala health. Her work incorporates several facets of koala life...

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