Brazil’s fighting its biggest epidemics with weaponized mosquitoes


Brazil has thrown everything it has against the mosquito-borne epidemics ravaging the country: education programs, planes full of insecticides, hundreds of thousands of health inspectors, and even the army. None of those have stopped the march of dengue and Zika, which are estimated to have infected nearly 3 million Brazilians—that is, more than one in 100—in 2015.

In desperation, Brazil has turned to a biological weapon: genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes and parasite-infected mosquitoes. They have shown some early success, and the trials are being expanded.