ZRS Researcher Tenley Albright recently put forth a bold theory about human-to-zombie immunity.  She argues that a certain protected class of people will likely show Zombie Immunitylittle or no transformational effects from being exposed to otherwise toxic zombie contamination.

Tenley points to the groundbreaking finding that roughly 1% of the global population is incapable of contracting the HIV virus because of a genetic mutation (see: Wired).  These mutated human cells have a slightly different structure than most, preventing the invading HIV cells from finding a suitable spot to attach themselves.

“Imagine plugging the wrong charger into your cell phone.  No matter how hard you try, you’re never going to get a good connection.  The port and attachment just don’t fit.”

The uncovered immunity in HIV, and similar findings in Leukemia and other cancers, has had a profound implication on the way we look at disease, and the future evolution of treatment strategies.  Some experts go so far as to suggest that for every ailment there is someone who is immune, we just haven’t tracked them all down yet.

By that logic, Tenley asserts that not only is a certain small percentage of the population probably incapable of becoming zombies, but those people may also hold the key to developing a working vaccine that could help prevent new zombie infections from spreading.

Ultimately, a zombie will still tear you limb-from-limb and leave you to die while it feasts on your internal organs with its zombie friends.  Not much your immunity can do to help you out of that mess.

(This article reposted by reader request.)


  1. Even if you were immune, you would still die of a bite wound, just imagine this, the human mouth is a cesspool of bacteria and other things, multiply all of that by twenty and add in the rotting bits, and you have yourself a wound that will be more disease ridden than an Amsterdam hooker. Even if you had all the antibiotics in the world, it would still be hard to cure, and you would likely need amputation. And why would they bother with treatment, a man gets bit by a zombie, gets very sick, people will have learned that means he going to die no matter what we do, don’t bother with medical treatment. So being immune doesn’t really help at all, other than instead of 100 percent chance of death, it is 99.

  2. WoW! I guess that’s an important thing to be proud of! I am a CCR5 Mutation. What the article doesn’t explain is that I simply lack a protein (CCR5) which covers 99% of most people’s T-Helper/suppressor cells. This protein acts as a magnet to attract HIV and allow it to invade and convert the cell into another ‘viral component’ of HIV. What the article says that is erroneous is the fact that people with this mutation can and do contract HIV (ie: they have a detectable antibody)… But the replication cannot happen due to the lack of said protein covering the CD4-cell. PS-If anyone knows how to get ahold of the people who produce STAN LEE’S SUPER HUMANS, please let me know as I happen to think that having a body where HIV doesn’t reproduce is pretty freakin’ SUPER HUMAN, right?

  3. consider however a mutated form of rabies -perhaps genetically engineered to resist all antibiotics and to have a very short incubation period

    it would be ideal for a govornment to use to destabalize some rival nation or by terrorists to do terrorism, it would then be only be resisted by people who happened to have a freak genetic mutation that prevented them from getting a similar disease i.e. the aids resistance> linked to a genetic resistance to bubonic plague (they work in almost the same way)

  4. Great article…with my luck I am doomed. I go fishing I catch nothing, I go to orgies I catch everything . (Rodney Dangerfield joke)

  5. In the game Left 4 Dead the only reason survivors were immune to the virus was because they had
    O-blood type they were also “Carriers” which means they had the virus in them but it didn’t effect them but they could transfer it just like any other infected….I’m not a scientist but it sort of makes a little sense considering if your an O blood type you cant receive blood from different types, but you can donate to anyone else

    • its not in there blood its something there fathers passed down to them if in not mistaken its a Y chromosome so the male carries have 2 Y chromosome and the females have one x and one Y chromosome but the x is dominant. but of course i could be wrong but i do know they get the immunity from there fathers which was stated in the l4d comics

      • Maybe retake your genetics class… All humans, regardless of gender, have at least one X chromosome. Women have two X chromosomes, meaning they can only give X chromosomes, while men have both X and Y, and can give either an X or a Y to their child. In Left 4 Dead, the theory is that there is a mutation on the X chromosome that is recessive which gives immunity from turning into a zombie, so for a man to be “immune” he needs to only have the one mutation (since Y is not effected). For a woman, there needs to be two mutated X chromosomes, meaning both her mother and father were carriers of the mutated X chromosome. This would explain why there seems to be more male survivors than female.

        The same principle is behind colorblindness, so if you want a better understanding of L4D’s theory you can look up some research on that.

  6. Katie , what bout if you don’t think it’s dead, shoot it again

  7. Excellent post and a very nice hypothesis.

  8. I think that some limited immunity makes sense, given what we know of other conditions. Here is a radical idea: perhaps the zombie condition is not caused by a virus or other physical disease vector. Perhaps, instead, it is a *social* disease that spreads in ways similar to obesity or smoking. I think a good argument can be made for this idea (I won’t flesh it out here just yet). In such a case, the zombie state already exists within each (or most) of us as a potentiality–an alternate behavioral/phenotypic state that can be triggered by the behavior of nearby zombies. Most individuals would require physical contact, but some particularly susceptible people could be triggered by the sight of a zombie, while others might be immune or nearly so.

  9. Garrett, I’ll be happy to pop open your rotting skull with a well placed .22 round and drop you to the ground like the rotting meatsack you’ll be… if you turn, that is. Otherwise, welcome to Survivor Camp Delta, pick up a rifle and some ammo, and report to resource appropriations for bunking and duty rostering.

    Remember, if you don’t want to be torn to shreds, or worse, become one of THEM, always follow Flynn Taggart’s #1 rule: Always keep one in the chamber. That’s for yourself if there’s no more hope. Until then, man the lines, and I don’t want to hear one more damn bit of this hopeless nonsense out of you!

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