Taxonomy and Comparative Virology of the Influenza Viruses
Viral taxonomy has evolved slowly (and often contentiously) from a time when viruses were identified at the whim of the investigator by place names, names of persons (investigator or patient), sigla, Greco-Latin hybrid names, host of origin, or name of associated disease. Originally studied by pathologists and physicians, viruses were first named for the diseases they caused or the lesions they induced. Yellow fever virus turned its victims yellow with jaundice, and the virus now known as poliovirus destroyed the anterior horn cells or gray (polio) matter of the spinal cord. But the close kinship of polioviruses with coxsackievirus Bl, the cause of the epidemic pleurodynia, is not apparent from names derived variously from site of pathogenic lesion and place of original virus isolation (Cox-sackie, New York).
KeywordsInfluenza Virus Rubella Virus Anterior Horn Cell Yellow Fever Virus Viral Taxonomy
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