Koala retrovirus epidemic: genetic diversity, genome invasion and disease (2018–2020)
Koala Retrovirus (KoRV) has spread through the majority of wild and captive koala populations. Uniquely, this infectious agent is transmitted both between infected individuals and onto offspring due to its integration into germline DNA. This project aims to firstly, identify mechanisms that govern the rate of southerly dissemination for the ongoing KoRV epidemic and secondly, identify virulence factors that endow KoRV subtypes with distinct modes of transmission that contribute to disease outcome. Understanding the mechanisms behind this advancing epidemic will have important implications for conservation efforts.