ICTV Master Species List 2020.v1

New MSL including all taxa updates since the 2019 release
Updates approved during EC 52, Online meeting, October 2020; Email ratification March 2021 (MSL #36)

  • I also agree with the ICTV ratification vote to use a standard two-part binomial nomenclature for virus species. I think this decision was really necessary to determine the distinction between virus name and virus species.

  • The next release of the ICTV virus taxonomy will occur following the ratification vote by ICTV Members to approve the updated taxonomy. Ratification should take place early in the new year, and the updated taxonomy will become official after voting ends, usually a month after the initiation of voting. Publication of this new release will take place in the same manner as previous releases. A new Master Species List will be prepared and will be available from https://ictv.global/msl/. The web-based taxonomy browser (https://ictv.global/taxonomy/) will also contain the updated taxonomy. Finally, a paper will be prepared for publication in the Virology Division News section of the Archive of Virology that summarizes the taxonomic changes. Last year's paper can be found at https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00705-021-05156-1

  • Although I am in favor of the transition to the binomial system, I am concerned about the method to be utilized for reporting(clinically) these changes in scientific names to physicians and other health care workers as appropriate.  Will we utilize the traditional methodology for reporting a name change for other microbes (e.g. bacteria) or a different method that is being considered by the ICTV?

  • As a clinical microbiologist and educator, I was pleased to learn that the ICTV has decided to utilize the binomial system of nomenclature and that the various study groups are in the process of converting all of the existing viral species names to binomials.