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Nucleic Acids Res. 2018 Jan 4;46(D1):D708-D717. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkx932.

Virus taxonomy: the database of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV).

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Department of Microbiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.
MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research, Glasgow, UK.
School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.
Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.


The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) is charged with the task of developing, refining, and maintaining a universal virus taxonomy. This task encompasses the classification of virus species and higher-level taxa according to the genetic and biological properties of their members; naming virus taxa; maintaining a database detailing the currently approved taxonomy; and providing the database, supporting proposals, and other virus-related information from an open-access, public web site. The ICTV web site ( provides access to the current taxonomy database in online and downloadable formats, and maintains a complete history of virus taxa back to the first release in 1971. The ICTV has also published the ICTV Report on Virus Taxonomy starting in 1971. This Report provides a comprehensive description of all virus taxa covering virus structure, genome structure, biology and phylogenetics. The ninth ICTV report, published in 2012, is available as an open-access online publication from the ICTV web site. The current, 10th report (, is being published online, and is replacing the previous hard-copy edition with a completely open access, continuously updated publication. No other database or resource exists that provides such a comprehensive, fully annotated compendium of information on virus taxa and taxonomy.

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