Reading this question Short story about a sentient disease from a Jovian moon, I came to think about a story, probably a novel, I read maybe 40 years ago, in Danish. It was about a kind of infection – the victims were covered in a kind of greyish skin which was strongly innervated, this was labeled 'nerve-skin' (direct translation of the Danish word). The main character gets infected and realises that his senses are getting more powerful and his intelligence increases (I think) as a consequence. Any guess as to which story this is?


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This likely is Dark Benediction by Walter M. Miller Jr.. The disease was called "neuroderm", which is indeed "nerve-skin", and a derogatory term for the infected was "grey-skins". The sensorial improvement and intelligence increases are all present in the story.

(The disease in itself was not sentient per se; it had come from outer space as a benediction from an alien people who recognized that its neurosymbionts had been crucial in the race's development, and therefore wanted to gift them to other races).

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