We've seen that when the Borg assimilate a species they use tubes injected into the target to transfer nano probes.

If someone is infected with HIV/AIDs, can the Borg become infected through assimilation?

I remember a while ago, there was an episode of Voyager where some alien species attempted exactly that, but I can't remember which episode.

1 Answer 1


The biological components of an individual drone could be infected with an organic virus, but the Borg nanoprobes in their bloodstream were capable of seeking out and destroying infected cells, as mentioned in the Voyager episode Someone to Watch Over Me. You are correct about aliens infecting the Borg with a virus, which happened in the episode Infinite Regress, but it was a synthetic one designed to infect their computer systems rather than the organic components. The Federation also designed a similar tactic in the episode I Borg, designing a program to disrupt the collective, but again did not seem to even consider an attack on the biological components of the Borg.

It's also worth noting that the Borg collective has no qualms about sacrificing individual drones, so any ship infected with a disease too virulent for their nanoprobes to destroy would likely be purged completely before it had a chance to spread the disease as long as there was a way to detect it.

  • As STD's are specifically mentioned it's probably also worth noting that the Borg generally don't produce new drones by natural reproductive methods (sex) that would involve the requisite exchange of body fluids for an STD to be spread.
    – Pelinore
    Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 17:57
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    @Pelinore - You could spread HIV/AIDS with blood to blood contact, so using needles would also spread the virus. Given that they inject the target with tubes (presumably leading to the bloodstream) infections are likely.
    – user108190
    Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 19:17
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    @BasementJoe : there's no blood to blood contact in the needles used to inject the Borg nanites though I would concede there is a potential for "shared needle" style contamination if they're not cleaned between their use on one victim & the next, though I'd also point out that does mean only new drones are at risk & extant drones still wouldn't be.
    – Pelinore
    Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 19:21
  • @Pelinore - Is it established anywhere that the tubes are cleaned between targets? It would be interesting to find out.
    – user108190
    Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 19:22
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    @BasementJoe : gotta refer you back to my original response ^, sorry, I was editing as you typed :)
    – Pelinore
    Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 19:23

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