Officials in Miami trying to stop the outbreak of Zika are exploring the use of mosquitoes infected with bacteria that inhibit the insects' ability to transmit the virus.
Florida's surgeon general has been notified by Miami-Dade County that it may try using Aedes aegypti mosquitoes artificially infected with the naturally-occurring bacteria Wolbachia by researchers affiliated with the University of Kentucky, which promotes the approach under the brand name MosquitoMate.
Miami-Dade officials have also been considering the release of genetically engineered mosquitoes to help stop Zika's spread, technology promoted by the Oxitech company.
The county has been working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine the best approach.
The MosquitoMate approach involves releasing non-biting male mosquitos, which seek out and mate with Zika-carrying females. Because only the males carry the bacteria, the offspring dies. With repeated releases over time, the population declines, and with it, the threat of Zika and other tropical diseases carried by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.