Proctitis associated with chlamydial infection in a koala
S HEMSLEY and PJ CANFIELD
Department of Veterinary Pathology B12, University of Sydney, New South Wales 2006
Objective To describe proctitis associated with chlamydial infection in a koala.
Design A pathological study
Animal A free living, male koala aged 17 years.
Procedure Rectum was examined histologically and chlamydial organisms visualised using Giminez’ stain and an immunoperoxidase staining method using an anti-Chlamydia lipopolysaccharide (genus specific) antibody.
Results An aged koala presented for euthanasia was found to have asymptomatic chronic proctitis, cystitis, prostatitis, urethritis and conjunctivitis associated with chlamydial infection. Inflammation was severe in the terminal rectum and extended into the proximal common vestibule. Chlamydial organisms were visualised in the rectal surface epithelium using Giminez’ stain and an immunoperoxidase staining method. Organisms were also detected in the epithelium of the bladder, prostate and urethra.
Clinical implications Possible modes of transmission for the rectal infection are direct sexual transmission or ascending infection by organisms shed from the urogenital tract into the common vestibule. Previously unreported chlamydial proctitis in the koala may represent a potential reservoir of infection for other koalas.