Saturday, June 25, 2011

Acronym in Virology and International Cooperation: ICTV for International Committee on the Taxonomy of Viruses

ICTV stands for International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. This organization takes on the task of developing, refining, and maintaining a universal virus taxonomy [1]. Many viruses are known by acronym such as ALV or RSV, which is easy to memorize and a good start to find more information by going to the ICTV database (ICTVdB). The ICTVdB Index of Viruses contains an alphabetically ordered  list (including Greek letters and number prefixes) of virus acronyms. For example, for RSV the species name Rous sarcoma virus is given in italics and clickable to find details such as serotypes, strains and isolates. The virus name Rous sarcoma virus is shown in black, indicating that this is the accepted name. Browsing through the name list, you'll find names in various colors, indicating the taxonomic status.

The ICTV websites also include pages describing virus nomenclature, classification and provide access to taxonomy proposals. As an additional introduction to the virosphere and virus taxonomy, I like the sections How are Viruses Named? and The Baltimore Classification as well as What is a Virus? in the book by Bruce Voyles on Virus Biology [2].

References and suggested reading
[1] Vincent Racaniello: How viruses are classified. August 7, 2009 [].
[2] Bruce A. Voyles: The Biology of Viruses. WCB/McGraw-Hill, Salem, MA, 1993; pages 27-32.

No comments:

Post a Comment