Gene-altered Mosquitoes Could Be Used to Fight Dengue

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) _ Mosquito control officials in the Florida Keys think genetically modified mosquitoes might help reduce the risk of dengue fever in Key West.

The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District is waiting for the Food and Drug Administration to approve an experiment that would release hundreds of thousands of mosquitoes genetically altered to pass along a birth defect that would kill off their young.

That would reduce the number of Aedes aegypti mosquitos, the species that can carry dengue fever.

It would be the first such experiment in the U.S. Similar trials are running in Brazil, Malaysia and the Cayman Islands.

Some Key West residents don’t want the experiment.

They worry that not enough research has been done to determine the potential risks to the Keys’ fragile ecosystem.