The VMR: Exemplar Viruses for Species

The ICTV chooses an exemplar virus for each species.  An exemplar virus serves as an example of a well-characterized virus isolate of that species and includes the GenBank accession number for the genomic sequence of the isolate as well as the virus name, isolate designation, suggested abbreviation, genome composition, and host source.

The primary, definitive list of exemplar viruses for each species is provided in chapters of the ICTV Report on Virus Classification and Taxon Nomenclature This list of exemplar viruses, with links to their genomic sequence, appears in the Member Species tables for each genus. For example, for the genus Cyclovirus, the Member Species table appears near the bottom of the following web page: In addition to a single exemplar virus, the Member Species table may also provide additional viruses that represent an extended list of important isolates classified as members of a particular species. 

The VMR consists of a downloadable spreadsheet of all virus species, providing the same information on exemplar viruses that is present in the Member Species tables as well as those not yet described in a published ICTV Report chapter.

The Member Species tables and the VMR are the definitive sources for exemplar information and are both updated based on new information and to correct errors. Taxonomy proposals (available from represent a snapshot in time and are not updated after the proposal is ratified. They are historical documents, and are therefore not a good source of current information on virus taxa and exemplar viruses.


The current Virus Metadata Resource (VMR) that provides a list of all exemplar viruses can be downloaded from the link below. The table provides historical copies of each past VMR release.

To download multiple VMR releases, select the checkbox next to the desired file and then click on the "Download archive" button to receive a single zip file of the requested spreadsheets.


Name Sort ascending Created Size
VMR_20-190822_MSL37.3.xlsx 11/01/2022 - 12:00 1.49 MB
VMR_20-190822_MSL37.2.xlsx 08/31/2022 - 09:44 1.48 MB
VMR_20-190822_MSL37.1.xlsx 08/31/2022 - 09:45 1.48 MB
VMR_19-250422_MSL37.xlsx 04/26/2022 - 10:18 1.23 MB
VMR_18-191021_MSL36.xlsx 02/18/2022 - 10:03 1.52 MB
VMR_17-200721_MSL36.xlsx 02/18/2022 - 10:03 1.53 MB
VMR_16-180521_MSL36.xlsx 02/18/2022 - 10:03 1.52 MB
VMR_15-010820_MSL35.xlsx 02/18/2022 - 10:03 1.17 MB
VMR_14-010520_MSL35.xlsx 02/18/2022 - 10:03 1.17 MB
VMR_13-271119_MSL34.xlsx 02/18/2022 - 10:03 751.04 KB
VMR_12-160919.2_MSL34.xlsx 02/18/2022 - 10:03 1009.74 KB
VMR_11-010619_MSL34.xlsx 02/18/2022 - 10:03 697.94 KB
VMR_10-190519_MSL34.xlsx 02/18/2022 - 10:03 698.23 KB
VMR_09-220319_MSL34.xlsx 02/18/2022 - 10:03 671.09 KB
VMR_08-201218_MSL33.xlsx 02/18/2022 - 10:03 542.18 KB
VMR_07-200718_MSL32.xlsx 02/18/2022 - 10:03 662.96 KB
VMR_06-110518.MSL32.xlsx 02/18/2022 - 10:03 616.07 KB
VMR_05-210318.MSL32.xlsx 02/18/2022 - 10:03 680.58 KB
VMR_04-290118_MSL31.xlsx 02/18/2022 - 10:03 509.56 KB
VMR_03-030118_MSL31.xlsx 02/18/2022 - 10:03 542.72 KB
VMR_02-081117_MSL31.xlsx 02/18/2022 - 10:03 553.28 KB
VMR_01-010817_MSL31.xlsx 02/18/2022 - 10:03 499.41 KB
22 files | 20.83 MB