Virology Division News
Virology Division News
Arch Virol 145/9 (2000)
ICTV and the Virology Division News
M. A. Mayo
and M. H. V. van Regenmortel
Scottish Crop Research Institute, Dundee, U.K.
IBMC, Strasbourg, France
A recent critique of some aspects of the affairs of the International Committee on Taxono-
my of Viruses (ICTV)  suggests that the link between ICTV and the papers that appear in
Virology Division News (VDN) concerning virus taxonomy is unclear. This note is
intended to clarify this link and also to illustrate how it has operated in the last several years.
The constitution of ICTV stipulates that a primary purpose of ICTV is to communicate the
results of its deliberations to virologists at large . Whilst this has been, and is, done by
preparation of Reports, for example Murphy et al.  and van Regenmortel et al. , there are
intervals between Reports when decisions are made and issues are raised that cannot wait for
their resolution until the next taxonomic report is published. Archives of Virology is the offi-
cial journal of the Virology Division of the International Union of Microbiological Societies
(IUMS) and ICTV is a committee of the Virology Division of IUMS. Thus ICTV is entitled to
use the pages of Archives of Virology that are designated for use as “Virology Division News”.
Contents of VDN
In practice, most of the material in VDN is ICTV business and to reflect this one of the
ICTV Secretaries acts as the editor of these pages of Archives of Virology. Articles report
the outcomes of meetings of the Executive Committee of ICTV and of the triennial Plenary
Meetings, as well as updates to the Statutes of ICTV and the International Code of Virus
Taxonomy and Nomenclature (see Table 1). The Executive Committee recently resolved to
increase its efforts to provide virologists with the background to the decisions taken by
ICTV. Articles in VDN are the most suitable means of fulfilling this intention; there have
been such articles in previous editions (see Table 1) and more are planned.
Dialogue between ICTV and the virology community
VDN has carried papers that have been designed to provoke discussion prior to a decision
being taken. It has also carried papers that have contained critical comment on what ICTV