Proposal for Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus Nomenclature below the Species Level

Vahid Salimi, Mariana Viegas, Alfonsina Trento, Charles N Agoti, Larry J Anderson, Vasanthi Avadhanula, Justin Bahl, Louis Bont, J Rodney Brister, Patricia A Cane, Mónica Galiano, Barney S Graham, Eneida L Hatcher, Orienka Hellferscee, David M Henke, Siddhivinayak Hirve, Sandra Jackson, Els Keyaerts, Leyla Kragten-Tabatabaie, Stephen LindstromInne Nauwelaers, D James Nokes, Peter J Openshaw, Teresa C Peret, Pedro A Piedra, Kaat Ramaekers, Annabel Rector, Nídia Sequeira Trovão, Anne von Gottberg, Maria Zambon, Wenqing Zhang, Thomas C Williams, Ian G Barr, Ursula J Buchholz

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Human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) is the leading viral cause of serious pediatric respiratory disease, and lifelong reinfections are common. Its 2 major subgroups, A and B, exhibit some antigenic variability, enabling HRSV to circulate annually. Globally, research has increased the number of HRSV genomic sequences available. To ensure accurate molecular epidemiology analyses, we propose a uniform nomenclature for HRSV-positive samples and isolates, and HRSV sequences, namely: HRSV/subgroup identifier/geographic identifier/unique sequence identifier/year of sampling. We also propose a template for submitting associated metadata. Universal nomenclature would help researchers retrieve and analyze sequence data to better understand the evolution of this virus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E1-E9
Number of pages9
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Child
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Phylogeny
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human/genetics


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