There are many fictional stories that say a vampire is created when a mortal is drained to the point of death just before the heart stops beating; then the mortal is given vampire blood to drink.
As the vampire blood works on the dying body, the mortal may or may not feel the pains of the bodily changes (depending on the story). When the process has been complete, which may take a few hours or it may take overnight, the once-mortal will begin to experience the world differently with heightened senses.
This scenario of a vampire transformation causes for immortalized cells to be transferred to the mortal and replicate the chromosomal telomeres. Basically, the thought is that there is either something encoded in the vampire’s blood or some special enzyme that enters the body’s information processing system that puts the telomeric activity to work.
Because many writers, to include Anne Rice, leave the mortal with a beating heart, it must be assumed that there is still white and red blood cells in the body to keep the heart beating.
The white blood cells contain phagocytes, which fight infection by destroying bacteria, and lymphocytes, which assist the immune system by producing antibodies to bind antigens and trigger the immune system to defend itself.
Because the body would be left with white blood cells, the lymphocytes become a major problem with the transformation process. The lymphocytes create three lines of defense.
- Patrols the blood stream for unfamiliar chemical signatures and sound the alarm when any are detected.
- Target specific types of invaders.
- Learning cells read the pathogens and destroy their protective coatings with toxins.
Because the mortal’s remaining blood will do its best to fight off the invading vampire blood, you’ll find many use the transformation process as a dangerous process for the mortal, as the mortal may or may not be transformed. If the mortal is not transformed properly, it could lead to death or some unnatural being.
Other writers use several options for bypassing the body’s natural immune system.
- The mortal’s blood would be overwhelmed and crushed by the vampire blood.
- The vampire’s blood contains a substance in a biochemical camouflage that disables the defense lymphocytes and at the same time it harnesses them to create a new vampire.
- The vampire pathogens shift and change too quickly for the mortal immune system to track and fight it.