The International Union of Microbiological Societies (IUMS) was founded in 1927 as the International Society of Microbiology, became the International Association of Microbiological Societies affiliated to IUBS as a Division in 1967, acquired independence in 1980, and became a Union Member of ICSU in 1982.
The Union’s objectives are to promote the study of microbiological sciences internationally; initiate, facilitate and coordinate research and other scientific activities which involve international cooperation; ensure the discussion and dissemination of the results of international cooperative research; promote the organization of international conferences, symposia and meetings and assist in the publication of their reports; represent microbiological sciences in ICSU and maintain contact with other international organizations.
Scientific activities of the Union are conducted by the Divisions of Bacteriology and Applied Microbiology, Mycology, and Virology and by six specialist international committees, nine commissions and two federations. Their major activities include the classification and nomenclature of bacteria and viruses, culture collections, food microbiology, antigens and molecular diagnostics, and enteric phage typing. Divisions are responsible for organizating their International Congresses.
The International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, the International Journal of Food Microbiology and International Virology News in Archives of Virology, are some of the publications published on behalf of IUMS, and IUMS news items appear in ASM News.
IUMS sponsors scientific meetings worldwide and actively supports the development of microbiology in the Third World by the provision of travel grants and the provision of ASM News to member societies considered to be underserved with respect to publications.
IUMS presents three international awards at its congresses; the Stuart Mudd Award for Studies in Basic Microbiology, the Arima Award for Applied Microbiology, and the Van Niel International Prize for Studies in Bacterial Systematics.
At present 88 national member societies and 14 associate members, comprising national and international societies from 65 countries adhere to IUMS.