Editor in Chief: Stuart G. Siddell

Editors: Elliot J. Lefkowitz, Sead Sabanadzovic, Peter Simmonds and Murilo Zerbini 

Managing Editor: Donald B. Smith

Associate Editors: Evelien Adriaenssens, Mart Krupovic, Jens H. Kuhn, Luisa Rubino and Arvind Varsani 

Technical Development (web site and database): Donald Dempsey, R. Curtis Hendrickson

The ICTV Report is a freely available, online resource, that updates and replaces previous ICTV Reports that had been available as printed books. The starting point for the current Report (also previously referred to as the Online, 10th Report) is the ICTV 9th Report, published in 2011. ICTV Study Groups, consisting of leading experts in the field, are updating the information from the chapters of the 9th Report to produce current Report chapters. In addition, chapters for new viral taxa created since the 9th Report are also being produced. Chapters will be updated on a regular basis to describe recent taxonomic changes resulting from the approval and ratification of new taxonomic proposals. 

Summaries of the Online Report chapters are published in the Journal of General Virology in the new section, ICTV Virus Taxonomy Profiles. These profiles provide concise review-type articles of individual chapters from the online Report. Written by ICTV Study Groups, these reviews provide overviews of the classification, structure and properties of individual virus orders, families and genera. These summaries are linked to the full Online Report chapters on this website and are indexed in PubMed. An Editorial, written by past ICTV President Dr Andrew Davison, is also available. 


Virus Taxonomy

Introduction

The first internationally organized attempts to introduce order into the bewildering variety of viruses took place at the International Congress of Microbiology held in Moscow in 1966. A committee was created, later called the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV), and was given the task of developing a single, universal taxonomic scheme for all the viruses infecting animals (vertebrates, invertebrates and protozoa), plants (higher plants and algae), fungi, bacteria and archaea. The ICTV was created as a committee of the Virology Division of the International Union of Microbiological Societies (IUMS) and is governed by Statutes approved by the Virology Division. The Statutes, available from this link define the objectives of ICTV: (i) to develop an internationally agreed taxonomy for viruses (the term “viruses” for this purpose is taken to include viroids and some important groups of satellite viruses); (ii) to develop internationally agreed names for these taxa; (iii) to communicate taxonomic decisions to the international community of virologists; and (iv) to maintain an index of virus names. The Statutes also state that classification and nomenclature of viruses will be subject to rules set out in an International Code that is available from this link

Virus taxonomy differs from other types of biological classification because the ICTV not only regulates a Code of Nomenclature but also considers and approves the creation of virus taxa (currently orders, families, subfamilies, genera and species). Priority of publication is not the determining factor. Species names are usually derived from the common (vernacular) name of the virus (usually in English) used to establish the species. The names of all recognized taxa are written in italics with an initial capital letter. 

The working of the ICTV

To date, the Executive Committee (EC) has established 98 international Study Groups (SGs) covering all major virus orders, families and genera. The Chair of each SG is appointed by the relevant Subcommittee Chair, who is a member of the EC. Each subcommittee is responsible for classes of viruses with different genome configurations infecting different hosts. The current subcommittees encompass Animal DNA Viruses and Retroviruses, Animal dsRNA and ssRNA- Viruses, Animal ssRNA+ Viruses, Bacterial and Archaeal Viruses, Fungal and Protist Viruses, and Plant Viruses. SG Chairs are responsible for (i) organizing discussions among SG members of emerging taxonomic issues in their field, (ii) overseeing the submission of proposals for new taxonomy, and (iii) preparing or revising relevant chapter(s) in ICTV Reports. 

Developing new taxonomy

The ICTV welcomes taxonomic proposals from any interested individual,l although in practice most are prepared by the relevant SG. An all-purpose template and guidance notes are available for downloading from https://cms.ictv.global/taxonomy/templates. Proposals will be forwarded to all relevant SGs and will also be made available on the website for public comment. Authors are then invited to respond to any comments made. Subcommittee Chairs then present taxonomic proposals to the EC for discussion and approval at the annual EC meeting. Straightforward proposals, such as those to create new species within existing genera for which species demarcation have been previously established, can normally be approved at a single meeting. More complex or controversial proposals are made available on the ICTV website for public comment for a further year before being re-considered by the EC. 

Proposals approved by the EC do not become accepted taxonomy until they have been ratified by the full ICTV membership. As specified in the Statutes, this includes members of the various Subcommittees (mostly SG Chairs), National Members and Life Members. Lists of members are provided at https://ictv.global/members. Ratification proceeds by an email vote, after which the approved taxonomy is updated at https://ictv.global/taxonomy. In general, new taxonomy approved by the EC in the summer, is ratified by ICTV Members in March-April of the next year, at which time it becomes official. This site should always be consulted for the most up-to-date ICTV taxonomic information. Summaries of the voting decisions are also prepared and published annually in an article in Archives of Virology within the  Virology Division News section. 

Availability of Past Reports

Past Virus Taxonomy Reports of the ICTV are still generally available from the publisher of a particular Report. The table below details the availability of each release as  hard copy and/or as a digital copy. Please contact the respective publisher for more information. 

Report

Copyright

Publisher

Current Publisher

For Sale?

URL

 1st  Report

1971

Karger

Karger

Print/Digital

https://www.karger.com/Book/Home/218074

 2nd Report

1976

Karger

Karger

Digital

https://www.karger.com/Book/Home/219262

 3rd Report

1979

Karger

Karger

Digital

https://www.karger.com/Book/Home/217428

 4th Report

1982

Karger

Karger

Print/Digital

https://www.karger.com/Book/Home/220300

 5th Report

1991

Springer-Verlag

Springer Nature

eBook/Softcover

https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-7091-9163-7

 6th Report

1995

Springer-Verlag

Springer Nature

eBook/ Softcover

https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-7091-6607-9

 7th Report

2000

Academic Press

Elsevier

No

-

 8th Report

2005

Elsevier Academic Press

Elsevier

eBook

https://www.elsevier.com/books/virus-taxonomy/fauquet/978-0-08-057548-3

 9th Report

2011

Elsevier Academic Press

Elsevier

eBook

https://www.elsevier.com/books/virus-taxonomy/king/978-0-12-384684-6

Also available online from the ICTV web site: https://cms.ictv.global/report_9th