Miami may try bacteria-infected mosquitoes in Zika fight

AP file photo
AP file photo

MIAMI (AP) – 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.

The Miami Herald reports (http://hrld.us/2epIXaA ) that Florida’s surgeon general has been notified that Miami-Dade County may try using mosquitoes infected with the naturally-occurring bacteria Wolbachia.

The bacteria-carrying mosquitoes provided by the University of Kentucky can infect other, Zika-carrying mosquitoes and hinder the ability for the virus to be transmitted to humans.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved previously the limited use of Wolbachia-infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which carry Zika, in the Florida Keys and in California.

The use of these mosquitoes in fighting the spread of disease has been effective in Indonesia and Australia as part of the Eliminate Dengue Program.

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