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"High pathogen levels detected. Zerg infestation imminent."


Results of infestation

The zerg hyperevolutionary virus (or hyper-evolutionary virus) is an infectious disease through which infestation of living organisms is carried out.[1][2] Terrans and dogs are susceptible to its effects, becoming infested terrans and roverlisks respectively.[3] The protoss are (mostly) immune.[4]


"The only cure for zerg infestation is purification by fire."

- Selendis(src)

The virus is usually delivered by virophages[5] or queens,[3][6] which introduce parasitic bio-toxins into nearby organisms. It can also be spread through water.[7]


"You're brave, but don't kid yourself. It's only a matter of time before he turns."

The final moments of infestation

When undergoing the process of infestation, terran subjects develop a link with the zerg's telepathy. While not yet under control, they can intelligibly communicate with the hive mind and warrior breeds refrain from attacking them.[6] The infected sometimes relive their previous memories in an attempt to mentally break down the subject, even if these were suppressed by neural resocialization. The hive mind will often manifest in the victim's memories as a reflection of them, encouraging them to willingly join the Swarm in their moment of panic. The zerg can, however, "break" those who do not mentally submit willingly.[8] Other symptoms have included paranoia and adverse physical symptoms, such as sweating (akin to a fever), followed by coughing up blood.[9] Additionally, infection can manifest in the epidermis being taken over by a purple substance, akin to creep.[10]

Ruom, the only known protoss to succumb to infestation

Khalai protoss are usually protected from infestation by the fortitude of the Khala, but it has failed in at least one unusual circumstance.[4] Nerazim are protected by the powers of the Void.[11] Terrans are not as fortunate; their psionic potential was noticed by the zerg and the virus was used to assimilate it. The Queen of Blades was an example of a successful infestation, but most terrans, even psychics, were rendered mindless drones by the process due to genetic incompatibility with the virus.[1] Kerrigan made efforts to remedy this and succeeded in the infestation of Ethan Stewart.[12]

Extreme mutation by the virus will turn a terran into an aberration.[13]

Years after the End War, the virus was able to infest terrans in different ways, resulting in volatile infested terrans, infested siege tanks, and infested banshees.[14]


"I heard there was a cure. Then I heard there wasn't. MAKE UP YOUR MINDS."

- A Terran Dominion marine on the hyperevolutionary virus(src)

A sign of infection in a terran

The virus mutates extremely rapidly, making the possibility of a cure seemingly impossible,[15][16] though some serums are able to slow the spread of infestation.[17] The protoss were able to devise a nano-tech serum that could temporarily reverse the effects of infestation,[18] and Confederate remnants developed a way to partially preserve the subject's sanity,[19] but this nanite solution failed and was overcome by the virus.[20] By then the Swarm had developed a particularly virulent strain of the virus,[16][21] which caused zergling-like claws to grow out of infested troops. The infested were also left with enough intellect to still operate basic weaponry.[5] However, the virus renders those infected vulnerable to UV radiation.[22]

After the End War, the Terran Dominion and Daelaam both had treatments that could slow the spread of the hyperevolutionary virus, but no proper cure was seen as possible.[23]

Other Information[]

The following section contains information from a previous version of StarCraft II that is ambiguously canonical.

AlliedCommanders SC2-LotV Art1.jpg

This article or section contains information derived from Co-op Missions, and should not be considered part of the official StarCraft storyline.

The organic components of adjutants are susceptible to infestation.[24]

During the End War, Amon's forces weaponized a particularly virulent strain of the virus. Those infested moved at a frightening speed and rapidly proliferated the disease. Hallucinogens in their blood were able to cause hysteria in even the most stalwart warriors.[25] Alexei Stukov utilized the zerg virus to infest his former battlecruiser Aleksander, as well as deploy infested terrans, infested siege tanks, infested banshees, infested liberators, and infested diamondbacks.[26]


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  2. Metzen, Chris; Chambers, Andy; StarCraft Legacy staff. 2009-04-03. BlizzCon 2007 StarCraft Lore Panel Editorial. StarCraft Legacy. Accessed 2009-05-18.
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