Medicine for sick koalas turns out to actually kill them

Koalas have a chlamydia problem

Koalas have a chlamydia problem

Gerard Lacz / REX / Shutterstock

Curing chlamydia in koalas can be just as deadly as the disease itself, and now we know why.

In humans, chlamydia is a common infection and can cause reproductive health issues. But for koalas it is more serious: the strain that infects them is often lethal. Koala chlamydia is transmitted during sex and, more commonly, through pap: a faecal product that females use to wean their joeys. A vaccine is in the works but it’s not ready yet.

So for now the best option seems to …