Cayman Islands to deploy genetically modified mosquitoes

MIAMI (AP) — Genetically modified mosquitoes will be deployed in the Cayman Islands to control the insect species that spreads Zika, dengue and other diseases.

British biotech company Oxitec says it plans to start releasing hundreds of thousands of modified mosquitoes per week in June on Grand Cayman Island. The modified male mosquitoes don’t bite. But the company says they will mate with females and produce offspring that will not survive to adulthood.

Oxitec and the Cayman Island government announced the program Thursday. The company has previously conducted trials in Brazil, Panama and the Cayman Islands. This is the first fully operational project.

Oxitec Head of Business Development Glen Slade tells The Associated Press that the use of the GMO mosquitoes will be combined with other control efforts against the disease-spreading Aedes Aegypti.

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