18.8 C
Byron Shire
May 18, 2022

Vaccinating koalas against chlamydia

Latest News

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 18 May, 2022

Brilliant entertainment always in the Byron Shire

Other News

New hinterland whiskey

Winding Road Distillery is based in Tintenbar, and early next week they are due to release their first single...

What happens after two years?

The recent floods have left many people homeless. Trying to address this problem, local councils have waived some of...

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 18 May, 2022

Brilliant entertainment always in the Byron Shire

2022 Community Building Partnership Program

Lismore MP Janelle Saffin is encouraging local not-for-profit groups and councils to apply for their share of $400,000 in grants under the 2022 Community Building Partnership Program.

Editorial – E-con-oh-my

If there’s one thing that the LNP lays claim to, above all else, it is the assertion that they are the better managers of the economy. But what does this bold claim actually mean?

Sculpture distilled at Husk

The inaugural outdoor exhibition, Sculpture Distilled, opens this week at Husk Farm Distillery and promises the opportunity to get...

Koala chlamydia affects 60 per cent of koalas that are admitted to the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital and is having a significant impact on koalas in the region. The figures have continued to rise each year.

In 2020 the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital started vaccinating koalas against chlamydia before releasing them into the wild. The goal is to vaccinate every koala that is admitted to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital for treatment, rehabilitation, and release. It’s hoped this will provide the wild population with lifelong protection against the deadly illness and allow them to produce healthy joeys. 

They have also been working on the vaccine program with the Queensland University of Technology to determine the level of vaccine required. 

Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Senior Vet Dr Michael Pyne said the aim of the research trial is to control koala chlamydia and increase fertility and reproduction.

‘We are working to establish the level of vaccination required within the species to prevent the localised extinction of koalas,’ he said. 

‘The research trial is based in the Elanora koala population, as this is the most diseased population on the Gold Coast. 88 per cent of these koalas admitted to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital test positive for chlamydia.’

Overall the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital admitted around 500 koalas last year with 60 per cent of them suffering from chlamydia, one of the leading contributors to the species’ dramatic population decline. 

New joey

Cassidy, one of the koalas participating in the research trial, is pregnant. Her joey will be the first baby born to a koala in the trial.

‘It’s encouraging that Cassidy is pregnant and negative to chlamydia, not only for the research trial but for the entire Koala species,’ said Dr Pyne. 

‘It’s still very early stages and too early to say if the vaccine will be a long-term solution, however Cassidy is making us hopeful.’

The partnership with Queensland University of Technology’s Professor Kenneth Beagley has seen 154 koalas that have been released back into the wild administered the lifesaving chlamydia vaccine.

’It’s fantastic news that the vaccine has protected Cassidy and that she is now pregnant with a joey, despite living in a population with a very high prevalence of chlamydia,’ said Professor Beagley. 

‘I do have cautious optimism for the future of the species. Hopefully, we can repeat this and see the Koala population increase over time.’

Eleven koalas from the heavily diseased Elanora population have been vaccinated and released with GPS tracking collars as part of the research trial. The goal is to capture and vaccinate a total of 30 Koalas in the Elanora area and track each one for three years, recapturing them every six months to test for chlamydia, general health, reproductive status, and vaccine immunity.

Professor Beagley said, ‘I look forward to continuing to assist Currumbin Wildlife Hospital in their efforts to vaccinate all koalas prior to their release back into the wild.’

Community support is essential to push forward with this critical work. Donate now currumbinwildlifehospital.org.au

Currumbin Wildlife Hospital’s chlamydia vaccine research trial is still in its early stages and has been made possible with the support of The Neumann Family, Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate, The City of Gold Coast, WildArk and Rotary.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Another reason for using vaccinations. Great use of science but I suppose the antivaxxers will talk about the natural immunity of koalas or suggest other homeopathic remedies.

  2. Ro Ro Ro your boat gently down the stream, if your country turns into a fascist state, life is but a dream. Fully vaccinated before the Covid pandemic, I have serious doubts about its safety and effectiveness given it’s a new technology but somehow I’m now classed as an antivaxxer. Keep rowing Ro!

    • Just because the man that invented mRNA vaccine technology has said no-one should take these shots ever for any reason doesn’t mean they are unsafe.
      Just trust the science, instead of the scientist that invented it.

  3. Three cheers to Cassidy Koala, lets hope she remains Chlamydia free. This research has taken far too long (great that it is finally happening) but you have to ask Why this effort has taken so very long ? For decades we have known that koala populations are in serious decline & facing habitat destruction on a daily level. Horrendous road kill figures/ dog attacks & disease are ALL due to habitat destruction & loss. The more I see housing estates being built my heart sinks, as I think that means less wildlife. Our species is so homo centric & prolific, I just can’t see any real change in human primate behaviour. We are NOT special or more important than any other species, yet somehow many people have elevated their own importance to some superior pedestal . If we can’t save our Koalas who sit up in a tree & don’t have the audacity to eat grass or dig a hole or chew your roses, we CAN’T SAVE ANYTHING. Blinky Bill & family need everyone to be active & on board now 🙁 🙁 🙁

  4. An amazing and very informative site that tells about the freezing of ovaries to save for future pregnancy. Till now, people can freeze their eggs, sperm and embryos. Now thanks to the new technologies, you can cryopreserve all parts of your ovaries for many years.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Sculpture distilled at Husk

The inaugural outdoor exhibition, Sculpture Distilled, opens this week at Husk Farm Distillery and promises the opportunity to get up close and personal with...

Local rum

  Lord Byron Distillery is located right in the Byron Arts & Industry Estate, making it super-easy to visit the distillery if you’re in Byron....

New hinterland whiskey

Winding Road Distillery is based in Tintenbar, and early next week they are due to release their first single malt whiskey, initially to members...

‘Dining in the Dark’ at Forest, Byron

To celebrate the North Coast Festival of Flavour, Forest restaurant is turning off the lights so you can turn up your senses, and let...