Virology Division News 1465 Back to Latin and tradition: a proposal for an official nomenclature of virus species H. Agut Laboratoire de Virologie du CERVI, Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France Background The taxonomy of viruses (i.e the classification of viruses into well defined clusters) has dramatically improved in the recent years, in particular due to the action of International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV). The current scheme of classification includes four hierarchical levels: species, genus, family (with the possibility of an intermediate taxon, the subfamily) and order. So far, the ICTV has approved 3 orders, 56 families, 9 subfamilies, 223 genera and 1550 virus species . This taxonomy is developing but the taxa already approved by ICTV remain largely stable (only minor changes have occurred th th among these taxa between the 6 and 7 ICTV Reports) and are well accepted by most, if not all, virologists. In parallel, an official virus nomenclature has been established to provide distinctive scientific names to these well accepted taxa. Orders, families, subfamilies, and genera have been given official names ending by -virales, -viridae, -virinae and -virus, respectively. These names are written in italics and with a capital initial letter. The only
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 1, 2002
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