The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) authorizes and organizes the taxonomic classification of and the nomenclatures for viruses.The ICTV has developed a universal taxonomic scheme for viruses, and thus has the means to appropriately describe, name, and classify every virus that affects living organisms. The members of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses are considered expert virologists. The ICTV was formed from and is governed by the Virology Division of the International Union of Microbiological Societies. Detailed work, such as delimiting the boundaries of species within a family, typically is performed by study groups of experts in the families.
The objectives of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses are:
The ICTV's essential principles of virus nomenclature are:
The ICTV's universal virus classification system uses a slightly modified version of the standard biological classification system. It only recognises the taxa order, family, subfamily, genus, and species. When it is uncertain how to classify a species into a genus but its classification in a family is clear, it will be classified as an unassigned species of that family. Many taxa remain unranked. There are also, as of 2005, GenBank sequences assigned to 3,142 "species" which are not accounted for in the ICTV report (due to the way GenBank works, however, the actual number of proper species is probably significantly smaller).The number of unidentified virus sequences is only expected to increase as the rate of virus sequencing increases dramatically.
The ICTV has been strikingly successful in achieving stability, since their inception in 1962. Every genus and family recognized in the 1980s continued to be in use as of 2005, for example.
Proposals for new names, name changes, and the establishment and taxonomic placement of taxa are handled by the Executive Committee of the ICTV in the form of proposals. All relevant ICTV subcommittees and study groups are consulted prior to a decision being taken.
The name of a taxon has no official status until it has been approved by ICTV, and names will only be accepted if they are linked to approved hierarchical taxa. If no suitable name is proposed for a taxon, the taxon may be approved and the name be left undecided until the adoption of an acceptable international name, when one is proposed to and accepted by ICTV. Names must not convey a meaning for the taxon which would seem to either exclude viruses which are rightfully members of that taxon, exclude members which might one day belong to that taxon, or include viruses which are members of different taxa.
A species name shall consist of as few words as practicable but must not consist only of a host name and the word virus. A species name must provide an appropriately unambiguous identification of the species. Numbers, letters, or combinations thereof may be used as species epithets where such numbers and letters are already widely used. However, newly designated serial numbers, letters or combinations thereof are not acceptable alone as species epithets. If a number or letter series is in existence it may be continued.
A virus genus is a group of related species that share some significant properties and often only differ in host range and virulence. A genus name must be a single word ending in the suffix -virus. Approval of a new genus must be accompanied by the approval of a type species.
A subfamily is a group of genera sharing certain common characters. The taxon shall be used only when it is needed to solve a complex hierarchical problem. A subfamily name must be a single word ending in the suffix -virinae.
A family is a group of genera, whether or not these are organized into subfamilies, sharing certain common characters. A family name must be a single word ending in the suffix -viridae.
An order is a group of families sharing certain common characters. An order name must be a single word ending in the suffix -virales.
Rules concerned with the classification of viruses shall also apply to the classification of viroids. The formal endings for taxa of viroids are the word viroid for species, the suffix -viroid for genera, the suffix -viroinae for sub-families, should this taxon be needed, and -viroidae for families.
Retrotransposons are considered to be viruses in classification and nomenclature. Satellites and prions are not classified as viruses but are assigned an arbitrary classification as seems useful to workers in the particular fields.
Acknowledging the importance of viral metagenomics, the ICTV recognizes that genomes assembled from metagenomic data represent actual viruses and encourages their official classification following the same procedures as those used for viruses isolated and characterized using classical virology approaches.
The ICTV has published reports of virus taxonomy about twice a decade since 1971 (listed below - "Reports"). The ninth ICTV report was published in December 2011;the content is now freely available through the ICTV website. Beginning in 2017 the tenth ICTV report will be published online on the ICTV website and will be free to access with individual chapters updated on a rolling basis. The 2018 taxonomy is available online. , including a downloadable Excel spreadsheet of all recognized species.
ICTVdb is a species and isolate database that has been intended to serve as a companion to the ICTV taxonomy database. The development of ICTVdB has been supported by the ICTV since 1991 and was initially intended to aid taxonomic research. The database classifies viruses based primarily on their chemical characteristics, genomic type, nucleic acid replication, diseases, vectors, and geographical distribution, among other characteristics.
The database was developed at the Australian National University with support of the US National Science Foundation, and sponsored by the American Type Culture Collection. It uses the Description Language for Taxonomy (DELTA) system, a world standard for taxonomic data exchange, developed at Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). DELTA is able to store a wide diversity of data and translate it into a language suitable for traditional reports and web publication. For example, ICTVdB does not itself contain genomic sequence information but can convert DELTA data into NEXUS format.It can also handle large data inputs and is suited to compiling long lists of virus properties, text comments, and images.
ICTVdB has grown in concept and capability to become a major reference resource and research tool; in 1999 it was receiving over 30,000 combined online hits per day from its main site at the Australian National University, and two mirror sites based in the UK and United States.
In 2011, the ICTV decided to suspend the ICTVdb project and web site. This decision was made after it became apparent that the taxonomy provided on the site was many years out of date, and that some of the information on the site was inaccurate due to problems with how the database was being queried and processed to support the natural language output of the ICTVdb web site. The ICTV has begun discussions on how best to fix these problems, but decided that the time frame for updates and error correction were sufficiently long that it was best to take the site down rather than perpetuate the release of inaccurate information.[ citation needed ] As of August 2013, the database remains on hold. According to some views, "ICTV should also promote the use of a public database to replace the ICTV database as a store of the primary metadata of individual viruses, and should publish abstracts of the ICTV Reports in that database, so that they are ‘Open Access’."
The International Classification of Viruses was a group established in 1966 to standardize the naming of viruses. The group was renamed International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses in 1975.
In 1971 the ICTV classification for viruses infecting vertebrates included 19 genera, 2 families, and a further 24 unclassified groups.
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In biological classification, the order is
Virus classification is the process of naming viruses and placing them into a taxonomic system. Similar to the classification systems used for cellular organisms, virus classification is the subject of ongoing debate and proposals. This is mainly due to the pseudo-living nature of viruses, which is to say they are non-living particles with some chemical characteristics similar to those of life, or non-cellular life. As such, they do not fit neatly into the established biological classification system in place for cellular organisms.
The family Filoviridae, a member of the order Mononegavirales, is the taxonomic home of several related viruses that form filamentous infectious viral particles (virions) and encode their genome in the form of single-stranded negative-sense RNA. Two members of the family that are commonly known are Ebola virus and Marburg virus. Both viruses, and some of their lesser known relatives, cause severe disease in humans and nonhuman primates in the form of viral hemorrhagic fevers. All filoviruses are Select Agents, World Health Organization Risk Group 4 Pathogens, National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Category A Priority Pathogens, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Category A Bioterrorism Agents, and listed as Biological Agents for Export Control by the Australia Group.
The order Mononegavirales is the taxonomic home of numerous related viruses. Members of the order that are commonly known are, for instance, Ebola virus, human respiratory syncytial virus, measles virus, mumps virus, Nipah virus, and rabies virus. All of these viruses cause significant disease in humans. Many very important pathogens of nonhuman animals and plants are also members of this order.
The genus Marburgvirus is the taxonomic home of Marburg marburgvirus, whose members are the two known marburgviruses, Marburg virus (MARV) and Ravn virus (RAVV). Both viruses cause Marburg virus disease in humans and nonhuman primates, a form of viral hemorrhagic fever. Both are Select agents, World Health Organization Risk Group 4 Pathogens, National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Category A Priority Pathogens, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Category A Bioterrorism Agents, and are listed as Biological Agents for Export Control by the Australia Group.
Bunyavirales is an order of negative-sense single-stranded RNA viruses. It is the only order in the class Ellioviricetes. It was formerly known as Bunyaviridae family of viruses. The name Bunyavirales derives from Bunyamwera, where the original type species Bunyamwera orthobunyavirus was first discovered. Ellioviricetes is named in honor of late virologist Richard M. Elliott for his early work on bunyaviruses.
Influenza B virus is the only species in the genus Betainfluenzavirus in the virus family Orthomyxoviridae.
Novirhabdovirus is one of the genera of the family Rhabdoviridae containing viruses known to infect aquatic hosts. They can be transmitted from fish to fish or by waterborne virus, as well as through contaminated eggs. Replication and thermal inactivation temperatures are generally lower than for other rhabdoviruses, given the cold-blooded nature of their hosts. Hosts include a large and growing range of marine and freshwater fish.
Sunn-hemp mosaic virus (SHMV) is a pathogenic plant virus. It is known by many names, including bean strain of tobacco mosaic virus and Sunn-hemp rosette virus. SHMV is an intracellular parasite that infects plants. It can be seen only through an electron microscope. It is a positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus that causes physical characteristics of spotting and/or discoloration.
Pepper huasteco yellow vein virus (PHV) is a plant pathogenic virus of the family Geminiviridae.
Pepper mild tigré virus (PepMTV) is a plant pathogenic virus of the family Geminiviridae. It was demoted from species status in 2002.
Pepper golden mosaic virus is a plant pathogenic virus of the family Geminiviridae. It affects Capsicum annuum and all tomatoes. It was first discovered after it destroyed up to 100% of plants in afflicted fields in the autumn of 1989, mainly in north-west Mexico.
Benyvirus is a genus of viruses, in the family Benyviridae. Plant serve as natural hosts. There are currently four species in this genus including the type species Beet necrotic yellow vein virus. Diseases associated with this genus include: BNYVV: rhizomania.
Ourmiavirus is a genus of viruses. Cucurbits, cherry, and cassava serve as natural hosts. There are currently three species in this genus including the type species Ourmia melon virus. Diseases associated with this genus include: ouMV: yellowing and chlorotic spot symptoms.
Aspiviridae, formerly Ophioviridae is a family of viruses characterized by an elongated and highly filamentous and flexible nucleocapsid with helical symmetry. It is a monotypic taxon containing only one genus, Ophiovirus. Aspiviridae is also the only family in the order Serpentovirales, which in turn is the only order in the class Milneviricetes.
The species Taï Forest ebolavirus is a virological taxon included in the genus Ebolavirus, family Filoviridae, order Mononegavirales. The species has a single virus member, Taï Forest virus (TAFV). The members of the species are called Taï Forest ebolaviruses.
The species Sudan ebolavirus is a virological taxon included in the genus Ebolavirus, family Filoviridae, order Mononegavirales. The species has a single virus member, Sudan virus (SUDV). The members of the species are called Sudan ebolaviruses.
Avian metaavulavirus 2, formerly Avian paramyxovirus 2, is a species of virus belonging to the family Paramyxoviridae and genus Metaavulavirus. The virus is a negative strand RNA virus containing a monopartite genome. Avian metaavulavirus 2 is one of nine species belonging to the genus Metaavulavirus. The most common serotype of Avulavirinae is serotype 1, the cause of Newcastle disease (ND). Avian metaavulavirus 2 has been known to cause disease, specifically mild respiratory infections in domestic poultry, including turkeys and chickens, and has many economic effects on egg production and poultry industries. The virus was first isolated from a strain in Yucaipa, California in 1956. Since then, other isolates of the virus have been isolated worldwide.
In virology, realm is the highest taxonomic rank established by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV). The names of realms are terminated with the suffix -viria. A realm is divided into subrealms.
Saccharomyces cerevisiae virus L-A, also called L-A helper virus, is a member of the Totiviridae family of viruses found primarily in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Its discovery in the 1970s was the main starting point of research on yeast virology. It is a double-stranded DNA virus with no extracellular phase and so is inherited through vertical cytoplasmic transmission. Additionally, in many strains of the yeast, it is found along with the M virus, known to encode the killer toxin in many S. cerevisiae strains which confers the ability to kill neighboring sensitive cells that do not harbor the virus. It is indeed for this reason the virus is referred to as a helper virus, due to the M genome's dependence on it for its own survival and replication.
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Abstract: The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses has recently changed its approved definition of a viral species, and also discontinued work on its database of virus description