The ICTV's recommendation for how to write virus, species and other taxa names. (Updated September 16, 2020)
Bubonic plague is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis and therefore, the nomenclature used to write the name of the infectious agent is that of the International Code of Nomenclature of Prokaryotes and not the ICTV which deals only with viruses.
One of our future goals is to provide a database of synonyms for virus names that are classified as members of a particular species. But other than the Virus Metadata Resource (https://ictv.global/vmr/) that provides a list of exemplar viruses for each species, we do not yet have a complete database of synonyms.
"I have a question regarding the document that describes how to write viruses. In "A species name" it says that the first letter in capital letters should be written in italics and several other things ... But in "A virus name" it says that they should not be written in italics, nor the first letter in capital letters, etc. How is it then? It seems that one explanation contradicts another!"
The difference is between writing a species name verses writing a virus name. (“Species” refers to a taxonomic rank to which one or more “viruses” have been assigned based on a set of shared characteristics.) A species name is an official, formal taxonomic name approved by the ICTV. As for other taxonomic names, they are written in italics with the first word capitalized. A virus name is an informal label generally assigned by the investigator first reporting the discovery of the new virus in the literature, in sequence records, or by some other means. As an informal name, it is neither italicized nor capitalized.
Tengo una duda respecto al documento que describe como escribir los virus. En "A species name" dice que deben escribirse en itálica la primera letra en mayúscula y varias cosas mas ...Pero en "A virus name" dice que no deben escribirse en itálica, ni la primera letra en mayúscula, etc. Como es entonces?, parece que se contradice una explicación con otra!
When referring to the genus, the correct usage is to capitalize and italicize the name: "...the genus Betacoronavirus.".
For casual reference to the group of viruses, there is no "official" designation of names. In this case, my preference would be a single word: "... betacoronaviruses such as SARS-CoV...".
If I am talking about beta/alpha coronaviruses in general, is it one word or two: e.g. 'beta coronaviruses' or 'betacoronaviruses'? (No italics, correct)?
Would Betacoronavirus only be capitalized when explicitly referring to the genus (i.e. ...the genus Betacoronavirus contains...