Influenza pp 25-32 | Cite as

Taxonomy and Comparative Virology of the Influenza Viruses

  • Edwin D. Kilbourne


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).


Influenza Virus Rubella Virus Anterior Horn Cell Yellow Fever Virus Viral Taxonomy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Edwin D. Kilbourne, M.D. 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edwin D. Kilbourne
    • 1
  1. 1.Mount Sinai School of MedicineCity University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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