UTMB researchers announced they have determined the DNA sequence of the most common mosquito species in the world, whose bite transmits potentially deadly viruses and a worm that can cause serious illness. The mosquito, whose Latin name is Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus but which is more commonly known as the southern house mosquito, is the third in the triad of major disease-causing mosquitoes to have its genome sequenced, two studies published in the journal Science said. “This work gives us a terrific platform to improve our understanding of the dynamics of infection, which has to be done if we’re going to find ways to interrupt disease transmission,” said UTMB professor Stephen Higgs, one of the reports’ authors. “This is really exciting for us, because we can finally perform experiments that we’ve wanted to do for years,” said UTMB assistant professor Dana Vanlandingham, a co-author of the Science reports. “Our basic question is why do certain mosquito species transmit a particular virus and other mosquito species do not? Why don't they all carry all the viruses? We don’t know, but now we have three different systems for comparative studies to investigate interactions between viruses and mosquitoes.”