International Union of Microbiological Societies (IUMS)

IUMS is one of the unions of the International Science Council (ISC) (formerly ICSU), which is a non-governmental organization with a unique global membership that brings together 40 international scientific Unions and Associations and over 140 national and regional scientific organizations including Academies and Research Councils. IUMS was founded in 1927 as the International Society of Microbiology, and became the International Association of Microbiological Societies affiliated to the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS) as a Division in 1967. It acquired independence in 1980 and became a Union Member of ICSU in 1982. 

IUMS and the ICSP

The IUMS consists of three divisions:

  • Bacteriology & Applied Microbiology (BAM)
  • Mycology & Eukaryotic Microbiology (MEM)
  • Virology

In the Statutes of the ICSP membership in the ICSP shall be Full Members, Co-opted Members and Life Members. Each Member Society of the BAM Division of IUMS is entitled to appoint one Full Member to the ICSP, by means of a letter to the Executive Secretary of the ICSP. Full Members may be appointed at any time. When a Society ceases to be a member of the BAM division of the IUMS, its appointed representative shall continue to be a Full Member until the end of the term.

Objectives and Composition of the IUMS (as ratified by the General Assembly 2014 in Montreal)

C1 The objectives of the International Union of Microbiological Societies are to:

  • Promote the study of microbiological sciences internationally;
  • Initiate, facilitate and coordinate research and other scientific activities which involve international cooperation;
  • Promote the publication of international study and research;
  • Promote the organization of international conferences, symposia and meetings and assist in the publication of their reports;
  • Represent microbiological sciences in the International Council of Scientific Unions and maintain contact with other international organizations.

C2 The Union is composed of Divisions, each concerned with a major microbiological science. The Divisions are administratively responsible for Committees, Commissions and Federations (hereafter referred to as COMCOFs), each concerned with a particular aspect of microbiology, and for organization of the scientific programs of their triennial Congresses.

C3 Affiliation to the Union is in three categories

    • Member Societies (see Bylaw B26);
    • Associate Societies (National and International) (see Bylaw B27);
    • Supporting Organizations (see Bylaw B28).
  • Membership in the first two categories is open to societies or institutions: having major interests and activities in microbiology, having a membership of at least 20 microbiologists and holding at least one open scientific meeting a year. Membership in the third category is open to other organizations or individuals interested in the aims of the Union
  • In each country, there is a National Committee which is appointed by the Member Society if there is only one such Society or is mutually agreed upon by the Member Societies if there are two or more. The principal objective of the National Committee is to maintain contact between the Union and the member Societies and to represent them in the Union.

C4 Throughout this Constitution, Member Society denotes any Member Society in a country, regardless of its
      relation to the National Committee (see Bylaws B25, B26, B27 and B28).

C21 Annual dues from the National Committees are determined on a pro rata basis that depends on the number of microbiologists in the Member Societies who are resident in that country at the end of each year. The total dues are ordinarily not less than a minimum value. Details are stated in B19.

C22 Arrears in dues payment are managed as follows:

  • A National Committee which has not paid dues in full may be deemed by the Executive Board as ineligible to send a voting delegate to a General Assembly or Divisional Council.
  • A National Committee which has not paid its dues in full for three successive years, on notice being given by the Secretary-General, is regarded as having resigned. The three uncollected annual payments will ordinarily be regarded as debts outstanding for up to three years.

C23 The Executive Board may accept financial support from Supporting Organizations, governments, international agencies and other appropriate sources.

Publications of the IUMS

International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology (IJSEM)

The journal of relevance for the ICSP.

International Journal of Food Microbiology

An official journal of the International Committee on Food Microbiology and Hygiene (ICFMH) of the IUMS. As of November 2023, the publisher is Elsevier and Editor-in-Chief is Dr. Luca Cocolin, University of Turin, Italy.


An official journal of the MEM division of the IUMS. As of November 2023, the publisher is Springer Nature B.V. and the Editor-in-Chief is Dr. Vishnu Chaturvedi, University of Albany School of Public Health, USA.

World Journal of Microbiology & Biotechnology

An official journal of the IUMS and the MIRCEN Network. As of November 2023, the publisher is Springer Nature B.V. and the Editor-in-Chief is Professor Peter J. Large, University of Hull, UK.