Scientists Identify Genetic Code of Culex Quinquefasciatus

An international team of scientists has identified the genetic code of the mosquito that transmits the West Nile virus into human beings.

The researchers have deconstructed the genetic composition of the Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito, which is also known as `southern house mosquito'. Culex mosquito is considered the third major disease-carrying mosquito.

The researchers are hopeful that the genetic code will help to know how the transmission of the virus from the insect to man happens.

They are also hopeful that they might manage to disable the specific gene that is responsible for the transmission of the West Nile virus.

Previously, the scientists decoded the genetic composition of the Anopheles gambiae mosquito and the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmit malaria and yellow fever/dengue fever, respectively in humans.

The Culex mosquito causes three types of parasitic illnesses: West Nile virus, encephalitis, and lymphatic filariasis.

Experts say West Nile virus affects 120 million people and more than 40 million cases of elephantiasis are reported every year.

The first appearance of West Nile virus in the United States was reported in the year 1999 and since then the virus has spread to almost 48 states. In 2009, 720 people became infected with the virus in America.

The details of genetic sequence of Culex mosquito has been published in the journal Science.