Koalas suffer from a wide range of diseases and illness, some of which are well understood, and others that are observed but have unclear aetiologies. A largely undescribed and poorly defined area in koala health is diseases presumed to be associated with koala retrovirus (KoRV) infection. Disease conditions putatively linked to KoRV infection are defined here as “putative KoRV-associated diseases” (PKAD). These include neoplasia, severe dermatological and oral conditions, life-threatening fungal and opportunistic infections, haematological disorders, chronic ill-thrift or poor body condition of undefined cause and other conditions suggestive of immune dysfunction. Multiple conditions are usually present at once and koalas invariably die despite treatment. The multifactorial nature of PKAD and the lack of clarity around KoRV’s role in many conditions means that developing a standard case definition encompassing all presentations is difficult. As such, presenting conditions have been defined as dysplastic/neoplastic versus those associated with immune dysfunction (putative immune dysfunction disorders—PIDDS).
Gillett, Amber K. 2023. Defining putative koala retrovirus-associated disease in koalas. In Proceedings of the Second Koala Retrovirus Workshop, ed. D. E. Alquezar-Planas, D. P. Higgins, C. L. Singleton, and A. D. Greenwood. Technical Reports of the Australian Museum Online 38: 23–29.