Origin and strains of the human vampirism virus (family Filoviridae)



Vampirism is among the most widespread viral infections, responsible for the creation of an entirely new species. It was known for millennia, dating back to Ancient Egypt and spread in most human populations, especially in Europe and North America. The term Bloodthirst Syndrome virus is collective for several strains (also referred to as subspecies) of viruses from the family Filoviridae, all with a common origin. The present paper represents a thorough study of the origin, distribution, and prevalence of several of the most well-known strains.


The first reports on Bloodthirst Syndrome date back to Ancient Egypt, around 5000 B.C. It is commonly referred to as vampirism or vampires. The infected persons develop a constant need to consumption of human blood and transfer the virus through their bite, although different people generally display different susceptibility to the virus. Along with common symptoms like extreme sensitivity to UV light and organosulfur compounds, it also leads to several anatomical changes, the most characteristic of which is the reconstruction of the teeth. The abnormal growth of teeth on the upper jaw is needed for the feeding habits of vampires, but it is also an important feature for diagnostics and strain classification (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. Teeth reconstruction in various HBSV strains. A – Kemet strain; B – Transylvania strain; C – various strains; D – Wisborg strain; E – Corvinus strain; F – Vladislas strain; G -Jerusalem strain; H – Carolina strain; I – Mexico strain.

Based on the accumulated data, currently, there are three recognized groups of HBSV (Human Bloodthirst Syndrome Virus), each containing numerous strains. The origin of every strain, as well as significant clusters, could be clearly identified. Each strain could be also diagnosed based on the teeth reconstruction.

Egypto-Mesopotamian group

The most ancient group originated in Ancient Egypt (Kemet) and the Mesopotamian cities (Ur, Uruk, Babylon) around 5000 B.C. The first known vampire, Queen Akasha of Uruk (later queen of Kemet), along with her husband, king Enkil gave the origin of the strain, later distributed worldwide [1]. It is not well known how it spread, although some notable clusters in Constantinople, Renaissance France and Louisiana [2]. It is widely recognized that all other strains evolved from the Kemet strain. In terms of teeth reconstruction, the Kemet strain mainly affects the lateral incisors and the canine teeth, with the canines being slightly longer.

Romano-Hungarian group

The prototypic Transylvanian strain, associated with the infamous count Dracula originated during the 15th century in Wallachia [3]. Currently, it is also believed to be the dominating strain in the New World [4]. It is characterized by longer canines, while the other teeth are not significantly affected. The closely related Vladislas strain (named after prince Radu Vladislas) is characterized by very long lateral incisors and shorter canines [5].

Two more strains were also recognized, although not mutually related, both evolved in the same region. The Wisborg strain was reported around the 1800s (with Count Orlok believed to be the zero patient), although believed to be much older. It is characterized by abnormal growth of the central and lateral incisors, the first being significantly longer [6]. The Corvinus strain originated in Hungary around the 5th century [7]. It is also characterized by abnormal growth of the central incisors, as well as the lateral incisors, canines, and the first premolars.

New World Group

The most recent group consists of strains, mainly originated in North America, although it is very probable that some of them evolved in Europe and were introduced to North America with the first settlers. It must be also noted that all of the Egypto-Mesopotamian and Romano-Hungarian strains are also widely distributed in North America.

The New World Groups are further subdivided into several subtypes. The first one – the Canonical subtype consists of the well-defined Jerusalem strain (long central and lateral incisors and canines) [8] and a group of strains with unsure origin (abnormal growth of lateral incisors and canines, but much shorter than in other strains). The non-canonical subtypes are the most recently evolved, all during the 20th century, and are characterized by more significant reconstruction of the jaws. The Mexico strain [9] is characterized by very long canines and a single, shorter incisor in the center of the upper jaw. The Carolina strain [10] is notable with very long single central incisors on the upper and the lower jaw, as well as abnormal growth of the lateral incisors on both jaws and the canines on the upper jaw.

Finally, the Reaper strain [11] does not affect the upper jaw, while the lower jaw is split, opens sideways, and reveals two very long, retractable fangs. Because of this, as well as the modified tongue, it is believed that the Reaper strain is not a typical HBSV, but rather a genetic modification or a subtype of the Strigoi endoparasite [12].

Origin and evolution

It is widely recognized that HBSV is a zoonotic infection, that originated from a virus, previously infecting bats. Although vampire bats are often blamed as the source of HBSV, this is highly unlikely as all known living species are native to America, while the origin of the Kemet strain is in the Old World. The first strain of the Egypto-Mesopotamian group later spread westward in Byzantium, then northward in the Carpathian region, and later in Central and Western Europe. Accordingly, the strains from the Romano-Hungarian group evolved from the Kemet strain and later gave origin to the more recent strains of the New World group (Fig. 2). The pattern of teeth reconstruction is obviously related to the genetic variability of the HBSV strains, but cause little to no effect on the physiological ability to drink blood. It must be further concluded whether the evolution of new strains is due to natural susceptibility to mutations of the virus itself, or is related to still unknown molecular interactions between the virus and host populations with different genetic background.

Figure 2. Phylogenetic tree, showing the genetic distance between the Old World strains (group A), the canonical (B1) and non-canonical (B2) groups of the New World.


[1] Michael Rymer (2002) Queen of the Damned, Warner Bros. Pictures

[2] Anne Rice (1976 – 2018) The Vampire Chronicles, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

[3] Terence Fisher (1958) Dracula, Universal Pictures

[4] John Carpenter (1998) John Carpenter’s Vampires, Sony Pictures

[5] Ted Nicolaou (1991-1998) Subspecies, Full Moon Pictures

[6] F. W. Murnau (1922) Nosferatu, Prana Film

[7] Len Wiseman, Kevin Grevioux, Danny McBride (2003-2016) Underworld, Sony Pictures

[8] Stephen King (1975) Salem’s Lot, Doubleday

[9] Robert Rodriguez (1996) From Dusk till Dawn, Miramax Films

[10] Mark Pavia (1997) The Night Flyer, New Line Cinema

[11] Guillermo del Toro (2002) Blade II, New Line Cinema

[12] Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan (2014-2017) FX


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