High Throughput Populations Genomics of West Nile Vectors in California

Principal Investigator: Bradley White

West Nile Virus (WNV) remains a major health concern for Californians. Indeed, after several years of stasis the number of human cases in the state more than doubled from 2011 to 2012. In California, Culex mosquitoes are the primary vectors of the WNV. However, there is a substantial variation in the ability of different populations of Culex to transmit the disease. We will use cutting-edge generic tools to comprehensively identify the distinct popuplations of Culex vectors across the state. This information will enable studies to determine which mosquito populations pose the greatest risk to public health, allowing for more specific targeting of insecticides and trapping. Ultimately, our research should improve the public health of Californians by enhancing the efficiency of mosquito control.