Arch Virol (2002) 147: 2038
Tidona, C. A., Darai, G. (ed.): The Springer Index of Viruses. 1449 tabs., 434 ﬁgs., XLVII + 1511
pp. With CD-ROM. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg 2001. Hardcover EUR 279,-.
This encyclopaedic work of 1511 pages provides information in a standardized format on all currently
known viruses. The book consists of 241 chapters, each devoted to one particular virus genus. With few
exceptions, the described genera correspond to the ofﬁcial list of genera recognized by the International
Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) in their 7th Report (Van Regenmortel et al., 2000).
Each chapter gives information on the virion, genome and replication strategy of viruses in the genus
as well as on historical landmarks in each virus group. Information is also given on genus members,
nucleotide sequences and viral proteins as well as on biological properties such as tissue tropism, vectors
and diseases caused by typical members of the genus. A particularly helpful feature is the extensive
bibliography that accompanies each chapter.
An alphabetical list of all virus species mentioned in the text is provided as well as a virus code index
whereeachvirusis given a decimal code number similar to the system used in enzyme nomenclature. The
Mahoney strain of poliovirus for instance has the coded number 00.052.0.01.007.00.001.001 where the
numbers separated by decimal points represent the order, family, subfamily, genus, species, subspecies,
serotype and isolate/strain. The decimal code is used in the ICTV virus database currently under
Although most of the material that is presented in the Springer Index follows the taxonomic structure
approved by the ICTV, there are some minor differences; for instance some of the genera that are
included have not been ofﬁcially approved by the ICTV and this departure from the ofﬁcial list is
actually indicated in the text. Another difference is that the typographic convention introduced by the
ICTV (Mayo and Horzinek, 1998) of writing in italics the names of all approved species, genera and
families has not been followed in the Springer Index.
More than 400 virologists have contributed to this reference work and the result clearly is a very
useful source of information on all currently known viruses. There are very few omissions, one of
them being the absence of any reference to the TT virus. There is no doubt that the Springer Index of
Viruses should be acquired by all libraries that need to provide to their users a comprehensive source
of information on viruses.
Mayo MA, Horzinek MC (1998) A revised version of the International Code of Virus classiﬁcation and
Nomenclature. Arch Virol 143: 1645–1654
Van Regenmortel MHV, Fauquet CM, Bishop DHL, Carstens EB, Estes MK, Lemon SM, McGeoch
DJ, Maniloff J, Mayo MA, Pringle CR, Wickner RB (2000) Seventh ICTV Report,Academic Press,
NewYork, San Diego
M. H. V. Van Regenmortel, Illkirch