Development of a vaccine to protect koalas against koala retrovirus (KoRV) (ARC Linkage Project administered by the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC)) (2016–2019)
The long term survival of the koala is under serious threat from two infectious diseases, Chlamydia and koala
retrovirus (KoRV). KoRV infects the majority (over 95%) of Australia¿s koalas and has been strongly linked to
lymphoma and leukemia. While quarantine and antiretroviral drug treatment are possible control measures, they
are impractical, leaving vaccination as the only realistic option. This project will develop a vaccine against KoRV to
arrest the increasing loss of animals due to this infection. This is valuable for both wild and captive koalas; zoos
report high losses due to KoRV-associated lymphoma. The main outcome will be a KoRV vaccine which can be
combined with a Chlamydia vaccine which is being developed in parallel.