INTRODUCTION. Rhabdovirus has become recognized as the generic term for those viruses which exhibit a bullet-shaped or bacilliform morphology (Wildy, 1971). Moreover, members of the genus have been observed in and/or isolated from vertebrate, invertebrate and plant tissues, Since the first report of the International Committee on Nomenclature of Viruses (ICNV) in 1971, in which approximately 20 possible members were listed, there have been numerous electron-microscopic observations of similar profiles in apparently new hosts. Hence, the list has more than doubled and undoubtedly it will continue to grow.

Although a morphologic description is a useful taxonomic criterion by which a virus may be initially grouped, it can only represent a tentative distinction because it imparts little or no information as to the agent's relatedness when compared with other members of the genus. Therefore, the uniqueness of a newly described rhabdovirus remains unconfirmed until additional information concerning its physico-chemical properties becomes available.


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