The World Health Organization (WHO) has backed trials of genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes that could be used in the fight against the Zika virus which has spread throughout Latin-America, with Brazil being hardest hit.

In a statement, the WHO also said sterile irradiated male mosquitoes could also be released to mate with wild females. However, environmentalists have warned about the possible consequences of wiping out an entire species.

According to BBC News, initial trials using genetically modified mosquitoes developed by Oxitec, the British subsidiary of Intrexon, have been taking place in the Cayman Islands.

The mosquitoes are altered so that their offspring will die before reaching adulthood and being able to reproduce.

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