ext mining automatically extracts information from the literature with the goal of making it available for further analysis, for example by incorporating it into biomedical databases. A key first step towards this goal is to identify and normalize the named entities, such as proteins and species, which are mentioned in text. Despite the large detrimental impact that viruses have on human and agricultural health, very little previous text-mining work has focused on identifying virus species and proteins in the literature. Here, we present an improved dictionary-based system for viral species and the first dictionary for viral proteins, which we benchmark on a new corpus of 300 manually annotated abstracts. We achieve 81.0% precision and 72.7% recall at the task of recognizing and normalizing viral species and 76.2% precision and 34.9% recall on viral proteins. These results are achieved despite the many challenges involved with the names of viral species and, especially, proteins. This work provides a foundation that can be used to extract more complicated relations about viruses from the literature.