Koala Health Hub


The Koala Health Hub (KHH) is a new initiative founded on the generosity of public donations to the Koala Park Sanctuary fund for the treatment and research of koala diseases. The Koala Health Hub delivers free, high quality diagnostics and expertise for the benefit and support of koala care groups and associated veterinarians. It also supports high quality therapeutic care to koalas from the Sydney region via the Faculty’s Wildlife Clinic at Camden, and supports the training of future koala veterinarians, researchers and carers through research scholarships and training workshops. Services and expertise are based on the research into koala diseases that has been part of the work of the Veterinary Faculty of the University for more than 35 years and is ongoing in the Koala Infectious Diseases Research Group (KIDReG). In addition to the Koala Health Hub, our Faculty has a strong history of wildlife research in a range of disciplines and species. The Faculty’s Veterinary Pathology Diagnostic Services (VPDS) are donating their record keeping database, and some additional pathology expertise and services to this project.

Examples of diagnostics offered through the KHH include:

  • Chlamydia detection by real-time PCR – to test eye and urogenital swabs of patients on admission and prior to release.
  • Cryptococcal detection on nasal swabs + cryptococcal antigen testing.
  • General haematology and biochemistry to assist diagnosis and case management.
  • A necropsy service, which is provided at no cost by VPDS as part of its pathology resident program.
  • Expertise and advise is available free of charge to all care and research groups.

Diagnostic services are offered by arrangement for:

  • Koala care groups in NSW, free of charge
  • Research groups and koala care groups interstate,
  • Captive collections in zoological institutions, on a full fee basis

Our group has the capacity to perform or develop additional disease-related tests. These may be supported by the hub on request, based on scientific need and demand. Priorities are guided by an advisory committee, including independent representatives from the koala care and wildlife health communities.

Contact: Dr Damien Higgins

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