International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV)
Table of Contents
The Organization of the ICTV
Complete ICTV Statutes (April 2014)
The official name is the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV).
The ICTV is a Committee of the Virology Division of the International Union of Microbiology Societies (IUMS).
The objects of the Committee shall be for the public benefit and in particular to advance education in the taxonomy of viruses and in furtherance thereof. The objectives are:–
To develop an internationally agreed taxonomy for viruses.
To establish internationally agreed names for virus taxa.
To communicate the decisions reached concerning the classification and nomenclature of viruses to virologists by holding meetings and publishing reports.
To maintain an Official Index of agreed names of virus taxa.
Membership of the ICTV shall be:-
President and Vice-President
Other members of the Executive Committee
Members of six Subcommittees.
The composition of the ICTV Executive Committee shall be:-
The Officers of ICTV, namely President, Vice-president and the Secretaries
The Chairs of the six Executive Committee Subcommittees
eight elected Members.
The six subcommittees shall be given remits to ensure that viruses of all host types and of all genome types are included.
Election or appointment procedures for positions on ICTV and its Executive Committee
President and Vice-President shall be nominated and seconded by any members of the ICTV and elected at a plenary meeting of the full ICTV membership. They shall be elected for a term of three years and may not serve for more than two consecutive terms of three years.
Three Secretaries shall be nominated by the Executive Committee and elected at a plenary meeting of the full ICTV membership. The Secretaries shall be elected for a term of six years and may be re-elected.
The Chairs of the Subcommittees shall be elected by the Executive Committee, normally at an interim meeting preceding a Plenary Meeting of the full ICTV membership. Nominations shall be made to the President at least one week before the election and must be accompanied by indications from each of the nominees that they are willing to serve. The term of office shall be for three years and may not exceed two consecutive terms of three years each.
No person shall serve on the Executive Committee for more than four successive complete terms other than as Officers subject to the limitations set out in 4.3.A and 4.3.B
Nominees for each vacant Elected Member seat shall be proposed to an ICTV Plenary Meeting by a Nominations Subcommittee comprising the President, Vice-President, both Secretaries, and the Chairs of the Subcommittees. The Nominations Subcommittee will be chaired by the President and a quorum will consist of 5 members. The Nominations Subcommittee will seek to ensure the widest possible ranges of virological expertise and geographical representation on the EC.
In addition, nominations for an Elected Member vacant seat may be submitted to the Nominations Subcommittee by any virologist and will be allowed up to 2 days prior to the Plenary Meeting at which elections will be held. All nominations must be accompanied by a brief biographical sketch and an indication that the nominee is willing to stand for election.
Elected Members shall be nominated, seconded, and elected at a Plenary Meeting of the ICTV for a term of three years and may not serve for more than two consecutive terms of three years each. Generally, three or four of the eight elected Members shall be replaced every three years.
National Members shall be nominated by Member Societies of the Virology Division of the IUMS. Societies belonging to the IUMS are considered to be Member Societies of the Division if they have members actively interested in virology. Wherever practicable, each country shall be represented by at least one National Member and no country shall be represented by more than five National Members. Nominations of virologists as National Members shall not require approval by the ICTV. However, it is the responsibility of a Member Society to inform one of the ICTV Secretaries in writing of the selection of their National Member before the start of the Plenary Meeting at which that National Member is to participate. National members of the ICTV shall be appointed for 3-year terms soon after each ICV. There is no limit to the number of terms that a National Member may serve but their appointment will be formally reviewed by the appointing National Society every three years.
Life Members shall be nominated by the Executive Committee, normally in recognition of outstanding services to virus taxonomy. Currently serving members of the Executive Committee and virologists within 6 months of their retirement from the Executive Committee will not be eligible for election. Life members shall be elected by the full ICTV.
Virologists shall be appointed to Subcommittees by the Chairs of the Subcommittees and the appointments will not require approval by the ICTV EC. The EC has the authority to appoint virologists to fill EC positions that are vacant because of resignation or some failure in the normal channels of appointment (4.3 A,B,C,E). Such an interim appointment ends at the Plenary Session following their appointment and time spent in such a role does not count towards formal service on the EC as defined by Statute 4.3 D.
EC Finance Sub-Committee
The Finance Subcommittee will consist of the Officers of ICTV. The Subcommittee will appoint a member of the Executive Committee to act as Treasurer of the ICTV. The Treasurer will handle any funds that may be allocated to the ICTV by the Virology Division of the IUMS or other sources.
Study Groups shall be formed by Subcommittee Chairs to examine the classification and nomenclature of particular groups of viruses. A Chair of a Study Group shall be appointed by the Chair of the appropriate Subcommittee and shall be a member of that Subcommittee ex officio.
Chairs of Study Groups shall appoint the members of their Study Groups. Members of Study Groups, other than Chairs, shall not be members of the ICTV, but their names shall be published by the ICTV to recognize their valuable contribution to the taxonomy of viruses. Study Group Chairs and Study Group members will normally be appointed immediately after an ICTV Plenary Session and will serve until the following Plenary Session, which is normally a period of three years. Except in unusual circumstances, the term of office of Study Group Chairs will be limited to two consecutive periods of three years.
Plenary meetings of the full ICTV membership shall be held in conjunction with the International Congresses of Virology. Meetings of the ICTV Executive Committee shall be held in conjunction with the International Congresses of Virology as well as at least once between International Congresses.
Taxonomic proposals may be initiated by an individual member of the ICTV, by a Study Group or by a Subcommittee member. In addition, any virologist may submit a taxonomic proposal or suggestion to the appropriate ICTV Subcommittee Chair following the procedures described below.
Proposals will be sent to the Chair of the appropriate Subcommittee for consideration by that Subcommittee and/or its Study Groups. Proposals will also be sent for consideration to all Study Groups and Subcommittees whose interests might be affected by the taxonomic or nomenclatural changes proposed. Taxonomic proposals approved by any Subcommittee, usually in consultation with a Study Group, shall be submitted to the Executive Committee by the Subcommittee Chair. Proposals approved by the Executive Committee shall be presented for ratification to the full ICTV membership by publication on an ICTV web site* followed by a ballot.
* the current web site used for posting taxonomic proposals is:
Decisions will be made by a simple majority of either those eligible to vote and present at a meeting or that reply to a call for a vote within 1 month of a proposition being circulated. A quorum for the ICTV Plenary Session decisions will consist of the President or Vice-President together with 15 voting members. In the event of a tied vote the proposal will not be approved.
The members of the full ICTV who are entitled to vote are the Members of the EC, members of Subcommittees, the National Members and the Life Members. No member may vote more than once on any particular proposal.
Proposals for changes to taxonomy, nomenclature or the ICTV constitution will be voted on in two stages: (1) the EC will vote either at a meeting or by circulation of a Ballot if a proposal should be presented to the ICTV for a decision, and (2) the ICTV will decide either at a Plenary meeting or by circulation of a Ballot. Decisions of the EC concerned with changes to taxonomy, nomenclature or the constitution will be by simple majority of members of the EC voting. The quorum shall be the President or Vice-President together with 1 Secretary and 7 members of the EC. Only EC members are entitled to vote on such matters.
Matters of EC business not directly concerned with changes to taxonomy, nomenclature or the constitution may be decided by consensus under the President's chairmanship. Any EC member may call for a vote on such matters.
The Code of Virus Nomenclature
Classification and nomenclature of viruses and related agents will be subject to Rules formalised into a Code. The Code, and substantive modifications to it, are subject to the approval of ICTV Executive Committee and ICTV as under Article 7.
Duties of Officers
Duties of the President shall be:
To preside at meetings of the Executive Committee and plenary meetings of the full ICTV membership.
To prepare with the Secretaries the agendas for meetings of the Executive Committee and the plenary meetings of the full ICTV membership.
To act as or appoint an editor-in-chief for ICTV Reports.
Duties of the Vice-President shall be:
To carry out the duties of the President in the absence of the President.
To attend meetings of the Executive Committee and plenary meetings of the ICTV.
Duties of the Secretaries shall be:
To attend meetings of the Executive Committee and plenary meetings of the ICTV.
To prepare with the President the agendas for meetings of the EC and the plenary meetings of the ICTV.
To prepare the Minutes of meetings of the Executive Committee and plenary meetings of the ICTV and ensure their timely publication on an ICTV web site.
To keep an up-to-date record of ICTV membership.
To manage the submission and processing of taxonomic proposals.
To maintain the ICTV web site and databases that provide up-to-date taxonomic information, information on ICTV activities and membership, the ICTV Report and other outreach activities.
Duties of the Subcommittee Chairs shall be:
To attend meetings of the Executive Committee.
To appoint members of the Subcommittee.
To appoint Study Group Chairs.
To organize the Subcommittee and Study Groups to study taxonomic problems and to bring forward proposals.
To present taxonomic proposals to the Executive Committee for voting.
To co-ordinate the preparation of up-dates of the ICTV Reports.
To report to the plenary meetings of ICTV on taxonomic changes since the preceding plenary meeting.
Changes to taxonomy, nomenclature or the International Code approved by ICTV will be communicated to the virological community by publication in rapid short form, for example in Virology Division News, and as part of the published Reports of ICTV.
Whenever feasible, taxonomic information will be published in a database form under the guidance of the Virus Data Subcommittee.
No publication of the ICTV shall bear any indication of sponsorship by a commercial agency, or institution connected in any way with a commercial company, except as an acceptable acknowledgement of financial assistance, unless approved by the Executive Committee on a case-by-case basis.
Publications may bear the name of the ICTV only if all the material contained has been authorized, prepared, or edited by the ICTV, or a committee or subcommittee of the ICTV.
Publications containing translations of ICTV-approved material may only bear the name of ICTV if they are approved by the ICTV Executive Committee.
The Statutes of the ICTV, and any subsequent changes, shall be approved by votes of the ICTV EC and the full ICTV membership as under Statute 7 and then approved by the Virology Division of the IUMS.
Disposition of Funds
In the event of dissolution of the ICTV, any remaining funds shall be turned back to the Secretary-Treasurer of the Virology Division of the IUMS.
Any surplus assets/funds must be used for the charitable purposes set out at Article 3 of this constitution or for purposes that are charitable within the context of Section 505 of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 (or statutory re-enactment thereof).
The ICTV shall have its legal seat where the office of the President is located.
Support for preparation of the Online Report and Report Summaries has been provided by:
For questions or help, send an email to
Copyright © 2017, International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV)
Unless otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License