Understanding the role of a newly recognised retrovirus in the induction of cancer and immunosuppressive disease in koalas (2004–2007)
Leukaemia, lymphoma and opportunistic infections are major causes of mortality in both captive and wild koala populations. It is our hypothesis that a recently discovered retrovirus is responsible for these disease syndromes. Using a multidisciplinary approach, this project will determine viral parameters that correlate with the disease status of koalas and lead to improvements in diagnosis and management of disease in koala populations. The planned research will also provide some insight into cross-species transmission of retroviruses.