Chlamydia infection is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases among people. About 100 million people suffer from it around the world. If left untreated, the infection can lead to infertility in humans. Australian koalas also suffer from the chlamydia bacteria – often with fatal consequences. Chlamydia can cause blindness and painful cysts in the reproductive tract of these cute koalas. These, in turn, can lead to sterility, potentially fatal and jeopardizing survival.
In 2010, only about 10 percent of Australian koalas were infected with chlamydia, according to reports CNN. As early as 2015, the number had risen to about 60 percent of the koala population. About 85 percent of all koalas are now infected, says Mark Krukenberger, professor of veterinary pathology at the University of Sydney.
severely endangered areas
Krukenberger says koalas in Australia are “no longer viable” because of their sterility. “Nearly every female infected with chlamydia will become sterile within a year, maybe two years at the most. Even if they survive, they will not reproduce.”
Unfortunately, antibiotics cannot be used: they can destroy the micro-intestinal flora of koalas. Animals need these leaves to consume eucalyptus leaves – their main food.
Krukenberger warns that koalas are threatened with extinction in entire regions of Australia. Tree-dwelling marsupials in Australia are already at risk due to increasing bushfires and habitat loss due to deforestation. (bag)
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