The genetically engineered insects were designed to stop the spread of dengue fever but critics now fear the programme may have had a deadly consequence
The Zika virus outbreak currently gripping the Americas could have been sparked by the release of genetically modified mosquitoes in 2012, critics say.
The insects were engineered by biotechnology experts to combat the spread of dengue fever and other diseases and released into the general population of Brazil in 2012.
But with the World Health Organisation(WHO) now meeting in Geneva to desperately discuss cures for the Zika virus, speculation has mounted as to the cause of this sudden outbreak.
The Zika virus was first discovered in the 1950s but the recent outbreak has escalated alarmingly, causing birth defects and a range of health problems in South and central America.
The first cases were reported in Brazil last May with up to 1.5 million now thought people affected by the virus which is spread by mosquitoes endemic to Latin America.