Chlamydia psittaci in a Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) Population in South-east Queensland
Neil A. WhiteAB and Peter TimmsC
ACentre for Biological Population Management, Queensland University of Technology, GPO Box2434, Brisbane, Qld 4000, Australia.
BTo whom correspondence should be addressed.
CCentre for Molecular Biotechnology, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Qld 4000, Australia.
Clinical signs are useful in determining the level of overt disease. However, neither the complement fixation test, nor the presence of clinical signs of disease are appropriate measures for the detection of Chlamydia psittaci in koalas because of false negative rates of 43 and 57%, respectively. Infection due to C. psittaci was most accurately determined in a population of koalas in rural south-east Queensland by in vitro cell culture of samples from ocular and urogenital sites. Prevalence of infection ranged from 39 to 61% with no evidence of a trend with time. Females had more urogenital and fewer concurrent ocular and urogenital infections than males. Parous females (n= 17) were free of disease and only one was recorded with urogenital infection (cell culture). In non-parous females (n= 16), six showed clinical signs of urogenital disease and a further three were infected (cell culture).