Consensus Statements

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  • In this Consensus Statement, the authors discuss the issue of naming uncultivated prokaryotic microorganisms, which currently do not have a formal nomenclature system due to a lack of type material or cultured representatives, and propose two recommendations including the recognition of DNA sequences as type material.

    • Alison E. Murray
    • John Freudenstein
    • Anna-Louise Reysenbach
    Consensus Statement Open Access
  • The present outbreak of a coronavirus-associated acute respiratory disease called coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) is the third documented spillover of an animal coronavirus to humans in only two decades that has resulted in a major epidemic. The Coronaviridae Study Group (CSG) of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, which is responsible for developing the classification of viruses and taxon nomenclature of the family Coronaviridae, has assessed the placement of the human pathogen, tentatively named 2019-nCoV, within the Coronaviridae. Based on phylogeny, taxonomy and established practice, the CSG recognizes this virus as forming a sister clade to the prototype human and bat severe acute respiratory syndrome coronaviruses (SARS-CoVs) of the species Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus, and designates it as SARS-CoV-2. In order to facilitate communication, the CSG proposes to use the following naming convention for individual isolates: SARS-CoV-2/host/location/isolate/date. While the full spectrum of clinical manifestations associated with SARS-CoV-2 infections in humans remains to be determined, the independent zoonotic transmission of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 highlights the need for studying viruses at the species level to complement research focused on individual pathogenic viruses of immediate significance. This will improve our understanding of virus–host interactions in an ever-changing environment and enhance our preparedness for future outbreaks.

    • Alexander E. Gorbalenya
    • Susan C. Baker
    • John Ziebuhr
    Consensus Statement Open Access
  • A survey of federally supported microbiome research in the United States of America over fiscal years 2012–2014 and implications for the funding of future microbiome research in the US and beyond.

    • Elizabeth Stulberg
    • Deborah Fravel
    • Angela Records
    Consensus Statement