, Volume 155, Issue 4, pp 445-453
Date: 04 Mar 2010

Clarification and guidance on the proper usage of virus and virus species names

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Abstract

A pivotal step in the development of a consistent nomenclature for virus classification was the introduction of the virus species concept by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) in 1991. Yet, almost two decades later, many virologists still are unable to differentiate between virus species and actual viruses. Here we attempt to explain the origin of this confusion, clarify the difference between taxa and physical entities, and suggest simple measures that could be implemented by ICTV Study Groups to make virus taxonomy and nomenclature more accessible to laboratory virologists.

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