. The International Committee on the Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV), which is a committee of the Section on Virology of the International Association of Microbiological Societies (IAMS), completed a round of meetings during the Third International Congress for Virology that was held in Madrid from 10 to 17 September 1975. Since ICTV only meets during these conferences, which are held every four years, the meetings are important occasions for reviewing the classification and nomenclature of viruses. Decisions on new names, which encapsulate the recognition of natural ‘groups’ of viruses, evolve slowly. Official approval for new names depends upon a series of sequential steps; recommendations by one or more of the subcommittees of the Executive Committee of ICTV (subcommittees on Bacterial, Invertebrate, Plant and Vertebrate Viruses respectively, and for some of the larger viral groups which span several kinds of hosts — the Coordination Subcommittee), which are considered by the Executive Committee of ICTV and may finally be submitted for approval by ICTV itself.


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