Koala bug gives clues to fertility
KOALAS are providing new insights into how sexually transmitted diseases affect fertility in men.
University of Queensland Associate Professor Stephen Johnston says while infections are typically associated with female infertility, Australian research shows chlamydia interferes with normal embryonic development, damaging male sperm DNA.
“We need to understand the incidence of the disease in the wild koala populations, as we think the role of chlamydia in male reproductive disease may have been underestimated,” Dr Johnston said.
Professor Ken Beagley, from QUT Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, said there is a poor understanding of how infection affects fertility in men.
Chlamydia, a commonly sexually transmitted disease in humans, is a major cause of poor health and death in koalas in Queensland and NSW.