Koalas in SEQ suffer badly from Chlamydia infections, which cause blindness and infertility and are a major contributor to population decline and local extinctions. Koalas have been listed as an endangered species in 2022. The Reproductive Infection and Immunity Research Group at the Centre for Immunology and Infection Control at QUT lead by Professor Ken Beagley have developed 2 chlamydial vaccines for koalas and are working with local wildlife hospitals, sanctuaries and veterinarians to evaluate these vaccines in both wild and captive koala populations.
The Reproductive Infection and Immunity Research Group at Centre for Immunology and Infection Control at QUT have received $50, 000 to vaccinate and follow koalas affected by the building of the Coomera Connector on the Gold Coast. This project is in collaboration with Endeavour Veterinary Ecology and Department of Transport and Main Roads. Equal numbers of wild koalas will be vaccinated with 1 and 2-shot anti-chlamydial vaccines developed at QUT. Animals will then be collared and recaptured at 6-month intervals to determine the magnitude and duration of vaccine-induced immunity.
This work will compliment a project with Currumbin Wildlife Hospital where the same 2 vaccines are being compared in captive-bred koala populations.