WHO Backs Trials: Mosquito Bacteria, GM Mosquitos, to Tackle Zika Virus

LONDON (Reuters) -
A municipal health worker carries out fumigation on a street as part of the city's efforts to prevent the spread of the Zika virus vector, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, January 30, 2016. REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera
A municipal health worker carries out fumigation on a street as part of the city’s efforts to prevent the spread of the Zika virus vector, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Jan. 30. (Reuters/Jorge Cabrera)

The World Health Organization (WHO) backed trials of genetically modified mosquitoes and a bacteria that infects insects as potentially important weapons in the fight against the Zika virus, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Given the magnitude of the Zika crisis, WHO encourages affected countries and their partners to boost the use of both old and new approaches to mosquito control as the most immediate line of defense,” it said.