Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options Skip directly to A-Z link Skip directly to A-Z link Skip directly to A-Z link

Spelling Preferences

British versus American Spelling

Change British spelling to American.

ameba, amebae, not amoeba, amoebae

analog, not analogue

analyze, not analyse

anesthesia, not anaesthesia

color, not colour

estradiol, not oestradiol

homolog, not homologue

orthopedics, not orthopaedics

titer, not titre

Exceptions: aerobic, anaerobic, proper names (The XYZ Programme, S. faecalis, N. gonorrhoeae)

Use the US adopted name rather than the international nonproprietary name for drugs.

rifampin, not rifampicin
acetaminophen, not paracetamol

Other Spelling Preferences

See also Hyphens and Other Capitalization Preferences.


Beijing/W genotype

Cameroon not Cameroun

Côte d’Ivoire not Ivory Coast

Dhaka not Dacca

Escherichia coli O157 (use the letter O)

extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR TB)

Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)

helminthic not helmintic



judgment not judgement

leukocyte not leucocyte

mucus (n), mucous (adj)

multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB)

occurred, occurrence

omit, omitted



protozoon (n, s), protozoa (n, pl) protozoan (adj)


Réunion Island, but Reunion (state)

Robert Koch Institute (not Koch-Institute)

supernatant not supernate

typeable not typable

villus (n), villous (adj)

Additional Information:

Geographic Designations
Preferred Usage
Scientific Nomenclature

(back to top)

Page created: February 04, 2010
Page updated: February 01, 2013
Page reviewed: February 01, 2013
The conclusions, findings, and opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.
edit_01 ScholarOne Submission Portal
Issue Select

Coronavirus Spotlight

Spotlight Topics


Get Email Updates

To receive email updates about this page, enter your email address: