1. Biosafety Level-3 Laboratory, School of Public Health, Southern Medical University (Guangdong
Provincial Key Laboratory of Tropical Disease Research), Guangzhou 510515, China
2. Chemistry Department, American University, Washington 20016, USA
3. Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Program, School of Systems Biology, George Mason
University, Manassas 20110, USA
A recent controversy over the naming of a human adenovirus (HAdV) type 55 as type "11a" (Kajon et al., 2013; Walsh et al., 2010) serves as instructive example to illustrate some of the pitfalls of relying on REA to identify, characterize, type, and name adenoviral pathogens in the era of whole genome data. Some of these concerns have been addressed earlier specifically for adenovirus characterization, where it was noted REA is useful for "prototype-like restriction patterns" but "the occurrence of genome types with deviating restriction patterns limits the application of this method" (Wigand, 1987).