Scientists are planning to release an army of millions of modified mosquitoes in areas of Brazil and Colombia.
They say the unusual approach is an attempt to provide “Revolutionary Protection” against mosquito-borne diseases such as Zika and chikungunya.
The mosquitoes are infected with a bug called Wolbachia which reduces their ability to spread viruses to people.
The $18m dollar project is funded by an international team of donors, including the bill and Melinda gates foundation.
The scheme – which aims to start in early 2017 – is also financed by local governments in Latin America, the US and the UK.
Wolbachia is a naturally occurring bacterium that infects 60% of insect species worldwide, but scientists say it does not harm humans