Parvovirus XPB-19 is the supervirus that infected and created the Virals. It was created by Dr. Marcus E. Karsten, the Head Administrator of LIRI (Loggerhead Island Research Institute), in an attempt to find the cure for parvo, and become filthy rich by doing so. This virus is what infected the Virals. A variated replica of XPB-19 infected Chance Claybourne and The Trinity.
Dr. Karsten was being discreetly paid by Candela Pharmaceuticals to manufacture the cure, but he accidentally ended up engineering a potentially lethal strain of parvovirus. He injected the virus into Cooper, a wolf-dog hybrid puppy that lived on Loggerhead, but the results failed and the puppy was scheduled for termination.
Karsten's first strains of Parvovirus XPB-19 were failures, and so were Chance Claybourne's initial replicas. The super-virus took off when Dr. Karsten ran out of clean sixty-millimeter dishes. He substituted a hundred fifty-millimeter dish, and too compensate for the larger dish, Dr. Karsten dialed up the temperature by 30 degrees. The significantly warmer growth-culture environment allowed for the bacterial host-cells to hold together, and the virus was able to hijack the cells with ease.
Parvovirus XPB-19 was created by inserting DNA from the canine strain of parvovirus into the genetic code for B19, a strain that only infected humans. The virus causes it's host to become extremely sick for a couple of days, with initial symptoms including blackouts, sensory overloads, diarrhea, vomiting, and uncontrollable flaring. After the symptoms begin to wear off and the supervirus leaves its host, controlled flaring is possible.
XPB-19 tricks healthy cells into incorporating it's DNA. When the supervirus is flushed from the system, it leaves behind warped DNA in said cells. This alteration creates an extra pair of chromosomes that appear canine in nature, although the chromosomes don't perfectly match up. These foreign DNA segments start some type of chain-reaction within the body of the host. After infection, dormant base-pair sections are left humming like cell phone towers.
Side Effects / Abilities Edit
It is believed that flaring stems from the Limbic system. The Limbic system contains a structure called the hypothalamus, which regulates the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) via hormone production and release. ANS affects heart rate, digestion, respiration, salivation, perspiration, pupil diameter, and other similar bodily functions that are not consciously directed.
Normally, when under great stress, hormonal reactions are set off within the human body, from the ANS. For individuals that have contracted Parvovirus XPB-19, these reactions are on an entirely different, much more intense level. "Flares" are usually triggered when individuals are experiencing an extreme sensory input.
Examples include stress, feeling threatened, aggravation, or fright. After some practice, flaring is able to be called upon at any given moment, although some individuals find it more difficult than others. When flaring, individuals experience sensory and physical capabilities that are consistent with the natural abilities of wolves.
Effects of this phenomenon include:
- Enhanced Sight - Sight becomes incredibly detailed and is described as eagle-like, making it extremely easy to see in the dark.
- Enhanced Hearing - Hearing becomes much more sensitive than the average humans.
- Enhanced Sense of smell - The sense of smell becomes incredibly strong, with some victims being able to smell emotions.
- Telepathic Communication - If in a pack, it becomes possible for victims to speak via telepathy, but this only works if a pack member is within a certain range. Packs can also shut out a certain member, and not allow for them to hear a conversation.
- Telepathic Vision - Like telepathic communication, victims must be within a pack to look through the eyes of another packmate. The Virals are able to do this but it is unclear if The Trinity are able to as well
Cures for XPB-19 Edit
During the events of Terminal, Chance Claybourne created a cure that would scrub the infiltrating DNA from the original, and cure himself, The Virals, and The Trinity of the virus. After ingesting the cure, Chance and the Trinity lost their powers, as expected. However, in the epilogue of Terminal, Tory Brennan refuses the change and opens her eyes to reveal a pale blue flame. It is unknown if the cure only worked for the replica strain of XPB-19, merely suppressed the effects of the virus, or if the Virals had been permanently altered, due to carrying the dormant base-pairs for much longer.
In Trace Evidence: Spike it is revealed that the blue never really leaves. The intense flares and golden eyes do not return, but the Virals now have permanently heightened senses and abilities (though not as strong as they originally once were), and are able to communicate via telepathy whenever they are within a certain range. They are also able to close off this connection if needed. When communicating telepathically and looking directly at each other, their eyes turn a pale blue. Tory has the most trouble hiding the color because her eyes are lighter and are able to show the color much more easily. The others' eyes simply become a bit darker.