Improved clarity of meaning from the use of both formal species names and common (vernacular) virus names in virological literature.
Archives of Virology (impact factor: 2.11). 01/2003; 147(12):2465-72. DOI:10.1007/s00705-002-0938-8
Article: Emerging issues in virus taxonomy.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Viruses occupy a unique position in biology. Although they possess some of the properties of living systems such as having a genome, they are actually nonliving infectious entities and should not be considered microorganisms. A clear distinction should be drawn between the terms virus, virion, and virus species. Species is the most fundamental taxonomic category used in all biological classification. In 1991, the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) decided that the category of virus species should be used in virus classification together with the categories of genus and family. More than 50 ICTV study groups were given the task of demarcating the 1,550 viral species that were recognized in the 7th ICTV report, which was published in 2000. We briefly describe the changes in virus classification that were introduced in that report. We also discuss recent proposals to introduce a nonlatinized binomial nomenclature for virus species.Emerging infectious diseases 02/2004; 10(1):8-13. · 6.17 Impact Factor
Article: Proposal for a revised taxonomy of the family Filoviridae: classification, names of taxa and viruses, and virus abbreviations.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The taxonomy of the family Filoviridae (marburgviruses and ebolaviruses) has changed several times since the discovery of its members, resulting in a plethora of species and virus names and abbreviations. The current taxonomy has only been partially accepted by most laboratory virologists. Confusion likely arose for several reasons: species names that consist of several words or which (should) contain diacritical marks, the current orthographic identity of species and virus names, and the similar pronunciation of several virus abbreviations in the absence of guidance for the correct use of vernacular names. To rectify this problem, we suggest (1) to retain the current species names Reston ebolavirus, Sudan ebolavirus, and Zaire ebolavirus, but to replace the name Cote d'Ivoire ebolavirus [sic] with Taï Forest ebolavirus and Lake Victoria marburgvirus with Marburg marburgvirus; (2) to revert the virus names of the type marburgviruses and ebolaviruses to those used for decades in the field (Marburg virus instead of Lake Victoria marburgvirus and Ebola virus instead of Zaire ebolavirus); (3) to introduce names for the remaining viruses reminiscent of jargon used by laboratory virologists but nevertheless different from species names (Reston virus, Sudan virus, Taï Forest virus), and (4) to introduce distinct abbreviations for the individual viruses (RESTV for Reston virus, SUDV for Sudan virus, and TAFV for Taï Forest virus), while retaining that for Marburg virus (MARV) and reintroducing that used over decades for Ebola virus (EBOV). Paying tribute to developments in the field, we propose (a) to create a new ebolavirus species (Bundibugyo ebolavirus) for one member virus (Bundibugyo virus, BDBV); (b) to assign a second virus to the species Marburg marburgvirus (Ravn virus, RAVV) for better reflection of now available high-resolution phylogeny; and (c) to create a new tentative genus (Cuevavirus) with one tentative species (Lloviu cuevavirus) for the recently discovered Lloviu virus (LLOV). Furthermore, we explain the etymological derivation of individual names, their pronunciation, and their correct use, and we elaborate on demarcation criteria for each taxon and virus.Archives of Virology 10/2010; 155(12):2083-103. · 2.11 Impact Factor
Article: Virus nomenclature below the species level: a standardized nomenclature for natural variants of viruses assigned to the family Filoviridae.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Abstract The task of international expert groups is to recommend the classification and naming of viruses. The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses Filoviridae Study Group and other experts have recently established an almost consistent classification and nomenclature for filoviruses. Here, further guidelines are suggested to include their natural genetic variants. First, this term is defined. Second, a template for full-length virus names (such as "Ebola virus H.sapiens-tc/COD/1995/Kikwit-9510621") is proposed. These names contain information on the identity of the virus (e.g., Ebola virus), isolation host (e.g., members of the species Homo sapiens), sampling location (e.g., Democratic Republic of the Congo (COD)), sampling year, genetic variant (e.g., Kikwit), and isolate (e.g., 9510621). Suffixes are proposed for individual names that clarify whether a given genetic variant has been characterized based on passage zero material (-wt), has been passaged in tissue/cell culture (-tc), is known from consensus sequence fragments only (-frag), or does (most likely) not exist anymore (-hist). We suggest that these comprehensive names are to be used specifically in the methods section of publications. Suitable abbreviations, also proposed here, could then be used throughout the text, while the full names could be used again in phylograms, tables, or figures if the contained information aids the interpretation of presented data. The proposed system is very similar to the well-known influenzavirus nomenclature and the nomenclature recently proposed for rotaviruses. If applied consistently, it would considerably simplify retrieval of sequence data from electronic databases and be a first important step toward a viral genome annotation standard as sought by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Furthermore, adoption of this nomenclature would increase the general understanding of filovirus-related publications and presentations and improve figures such as phylograms, alignments, and diagrams. Most importantly, it would counter the increasing confusion in genetic variant naming due to the identification of ever more sequences through technological breakthroughs in high-throughput sequencing and environmental sampling.Archives of Virology 01/2013; 158(1):301-311. · 2.11 Impact Factor
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