Oxford, England -- A field trial in the Caribbean using genetically altered mosquitoes to combat the spread of dengue fever has been a success, researchers say.
The use of the genetically modified insects to sabotage wild Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which spread the viral fever, took place on the island of Grand Cayman, NewScientist.com reported.
By the end of the six-month trial on a 40-acre plot, populations of the native insects had plummeted, researchers said.
"It's a proof of principle, that it works," says Angela Harris of the Grand Cayman Mosquito Control and Research Unit.
The MCRU conducted the trial with U.K. company Oxitec that bred the modified mosquitoes.