Chlamydia Riddled Koalas Could Help Develop A Vaccine For Sexually Transmitted Infections

By : Rebecca Knight |


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Scientists seem to think that there could be a rather outside the box solution to STIs.

Apparently, koalas are the key, and it is thought that 70% of them have chlamydia, and that could come in seriously useful when it comes to helping people fight off the infection.

Two universities in Queensland are now investigating how the infection damages DNA in male marsupials – and eventually, they hope this will lead to a vaccine.

In 2013, an estimated 200,000 people tested positive for the disease in England, with that number only set to rise.

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Professor Ken Beagley from QUT Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation spoke to the Telegraph, and claimed:

Looking across populations, between 40 and as high as 70 per cent of koalas will be carrying chlamydia somewhere in their body

Damage to sperm DNA has certainly been demonstrated in males with chlamydial infections and a history of chlamydial infections is associated with reduced fertility.

For males, if they’ve got it in the testes that’s causing degradation of their sperm so they can’t breed as successfully. But it’s still understudied and there’s a lot of debate.

According to scientists, koalas have a weakness in their immune system, which means so many of them have chlamydia – and while that might not be too pleasant for them, it could work out well for us.