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A picture taken on August 23, 2016 in Lille, northern France, shows a mosquito on a person’s arm. Mosquitoes are considered one of the most dangerous creatures on the planet because of their ability to spread deadly diseases like malaria, Zika, chikungunya or dengue fever. HILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images Scientists have genetically modified a fungus so that it can kill mosquitoes as part of a new drive to fight malaria.The trial in Burkina Faso — which was conducted in a sealed model village — killed more than 99 per cent of 1,500 mosquitoes and is being hailed as a “big step” forward by the study’s authors.However, local critics are concerned that the fungus could affect other insects and even animals.“I’m heavily worried that Africans are the preferred guinea pigs for experimentation, and Africa is going to become a large laboratory for risky experimentation,” said Nnimmo Bassey of the Health of Mother Earth Foundation, an advocacy group based in Nigeria.The experiment was conducted by scientists from the University of Maryland in the US and the IRSS research institute in Burkina Faso and its findings published this week in the journal Science.They took a naturally occurring fungus, Metarhizium pingshaense, and combined it with the DNA of a venomous Australian funnel-web spider.Experts say the fungus could “destroy” mosquito populations. Malaria still kills roughly 435,000 people and infects 219 million each year.The fungus would be used inside houses, much like an insecticide.