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Feeding Koala’s live yeast

Feeding Koala’s live yeast

The bacterial infection chlamydia is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in koalas. Surveys have indicated some populations can be up to 80% infected. Infections can lead to blindness, severe bladder inflammation, infertility, and death. Often the treatment for chlamydia infections in koalas are antibiotics. However, a potential complication of antibiotic use in koalas can be an overgrowth of candida yeast and generalised dysbiosis, which can be fatal.

Koalas consume eucalyptus leaves almost exclusively and therefore have developed a unique digestive physiology with a relatively inactive stomach, but a very long caecum for fermentation of the masticated leaf. Fermentation requires a healthy microbiota and a koala specific mucobacterial layer that is an integral part of the internal caecal mucosal surface. With dysbiosis this mucobacterial layer can be disrupted and may lead to the death of severely affected koalas.

Recently a local wildlife hospital contacted Lallemand to investigate the possible use of live yeast and yeast derivatives products in koalas in an attempt to reduce the potential digestive insults which may be associated with antibiotic use and aid with recovery in cases of mild
dysbiosis.

The wildlife hospital is currently using Levucell SB 10ME Titan, Levucell SC 10ME Titan and YANG. While there are no control animals to compare the results to, preliminary observations by Dr Amber Gillett, a veterinarian at the facility, suggest the combination is producing improved faecal quality, faecal output, appetites, and some weight gain. These results have proven promising enough for the veterinary team to consider expanding the use of some or all these products into koala and kangaroo joeys.

Published Mar 29, 2023