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The common house mosquito, Culex pipiens, is a subspecies complex in the family Culicidae consisting primarily of: Culex pipiens pipiens, which inhabits temperate regions of the northern and southern hemisphere and Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus, which is found in tropical and warm temperate areas of the world. Native to Africa, this blood-eating mosquito is now the most widely distributed mosquito in the world, spread mostly by humans to every continent except Antarctica. In North America, C. pipiens is usually the most common mosquito in urban settings, found breeding in fouled and polluted water; often in small containers, septic systems and ditches associated with human activity. Female C. pipiens need one to three blood meals to develop a brood of eggs; males do not feed on blood. Culex pipiens is a vector of multiple diseases including eastern encephalitis, Japanese encephalitis, meningitis, Urticaria. In the eastern US, it is the primary vector for West Nile virus and St. Louis encephalitis. Because Culex pipiens feeds on birds as a primary host as well as mammals (including humans) when necessary, diseases that it transmits are difficult to contain and control, as mobile bird hosts harbor the diseases and can spread them to a wide geographic area. The Broad Institute and The J. Craig Venter Institute currently have funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to carry out a whole-genome sequencing project on Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus. (Crans 2010; Broad Institute 2011; Wikipedia 2011)

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