STD Vaccine To Be Offered To Koalas

About four hundred Australian koalas will be vaccinated against chlamydia as part of a trial that researchers say they hope could play a significant role in the longer-term survival of the animals.

Chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease also found in humans, has spread widely among Australian koalas, affecting half the animals in some areas."It is a cruel disease that causes debilitating conjunctivitis, bladder infections and at times, infertility,” Amber Gillett, Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital Wildlife veterinarian and coordinator of research, said in a statement on Friday as the trial began.

The bacterial disease, which can be spread from mothers to their newborns, can also cause blindness, researchers say.

The koalas will each receive one dose of the vaccine and will be microchipped before being released into the wild.

I wonder if there will be koala anti-vaccine demonstrations on the streets of Sydney. "Marsupial Chlamydia Is A Government Scam," "Hands Off Our Joeys." That sort of thing.

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