Bacteria-infected mosquitoes might be good thing for Miami

(Photo: Erik F. Brandsborg / CC BY-SA 2.0 / MGN/ file)
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SOUTH MIAMI, Fla. (AP) Mosquitoes are a year-round downside to living in subtropical Miami.

But officials are thrilled about millions of bacteria-infected mosquitoes flying in a suburban neighborhood.

These mosquitoes are being hailed as an innovation that may kill off more bugs that spread of Zika and other viruses.

Miami-Dade County Mosquito Control and Habitat Management Division is releasing non-biting male mosquitoes infected with naturally occurring Wolbachia bacteria to mate with wild female mosquitoes.

The bacteria aren't harmful to humans but will prevent offspring produced when the lab-bred mosquitoes mate with wild female mosquitoes from surviving to adulthood.

This drives down the population of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that can spread Zika and dengue fever.

South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard says over half a billion of the mosquitoes bred by Kentucky-based MosquitoMate will be released during the six-month trial.