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Virus Classifications

Virus Classification

Viruses are classified by two main independent methods. 1) the ICTV classification system categorizes viruses by their family, species, etc... names (usually in Latin), whereas 2) the Baltimore system classifies viruses according to their molecular biological 'shape'. Although many of the viruses here will be classified and referred to by their Latin names (see Virus List), our predominant system of focus in this case will be the Baltimore system, because of its microbiological roots.

The Baltimore system classifies seven different types of viruses under three main headings, (RNA, DNA and RT) with two main variables within the headings (single or dual stranded & sense or antisense). Below you will find a menu of the three major headings.

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