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Australian study deciphers geographic patterns of viruses threatening koalas

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  An Australian study found that an AIDS like virus is more likely to affect koalas living in the states of New South Wales NSW and Queensland compared to southern populations in Victoria and South Australia The virus known as the koala retrovirus KoRV is strongly associated with diseases that can cause infertility and blindness in the species According to the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences KoRV is only present in the genome of koalas from Queensland and NSW while those from Victoria and South Australia appear to be free of the many subvariants Our previous work showed a definitive link between KoRV and chlamydia in koalas and these latest findings indicate that northern koalas should be treated very differently from southern koalas Michaela Blyton lead author of the paper said Wednesday the University of Queensland It could mean that in the short term koala relocations to the north are limited so we are not introducing new virus subtypes into healthy populations Blyton said As koala numbers have declined rapidly over the past decade Blyton believes uncovering these crucial patterns can help experts learn how the disease evolves and spreads and how to contain the damage through antiviral drugs or breeding programmes koalas In Blyton s eyes the final solution may take some time but the latest findings went a long way toward nullifying the threat posed by disease Ultimately we might see some form of antiviral treatment or at least improvements in koala breeding programs but for now this is great news for a species facing threats on multiple fronts he said Xinhua
Australian study deciphers geographic patterns of viruses threatening koalas

New South Wales

– An Australian study found that an AIDS-like virus is more likely to affect koalas living in the states of New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland, compared to southern populations in Victoria and South Australia.

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The virus, known as the koala retrovirus (KoRV), is strongly associated with diseases that can cause infertility and blindness in the species.

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According to the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, KoRV is only present in the genome of koalas from Queensland and NSW, while those from Victoria and South Australia appear to be free of the many subvariants.

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“Our previous work showed a definitive link between KoRV and chlamydia in koalas, and these latest findings indicate that northern koalas should be treated very differently from southern koalas,” Michaela Blyton, lead author of the paper, said Wednesday. the University of Queensland.

“It could mean that, in the short term, koala relocations to the north are limited, so we are not introducing new virus subtypes into healthy populations,” Blyton said.

As koala numbers have declined rapidly over the past decade, Blyton believes uncovering these crucial patterns can help experts learn how the disease evolves and spreads, and how to contain the damage through antiviral drugs or breeding programmes. koalas.

In Blyton’s eyes, the final solution may take some time, but the latest findings went a long way toward nullifying the threat posed by disease.

“Ultimately we might see some form of antiviral treatment or at least improvements in koala breeding programs, but for now this is great news for a species facing threats on multiple fronts,” he said. ■

(Xinhua)

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