Since the first human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) genotype classification in 1998, inconsistent conclusions have been drawn regarding the criteria that define RSV genotypes and their nomenclature, challenging data comparisons between research groups. In this study, we aim to unify the field of RSV genotype classification by reviewing the different methods that have been used in the past to define RSV genotypes and by proposing a new classification procedure, based on well-established phylogenetic methods. Our data show that neither the HVR2 fragment nor the G gene contains sufficient phylogenetic signal to perform reliable phylogenetic reconstruction. Therefore, whole-genome alignments were used to determine RSV genotypes.

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Published On: November 17, 2022

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