Vampires (homines nocturnae), in Marvel Comics' Blade universe, are a sub-offshoot of humanity with their progenitor being the entity Drake (also known as Dracula and Dagon), a Sumerian who was worshiped as a god. His progeny are the "Pure-Bloods", while those beings who are bitten by Drake or his descendants are byproducts of vampirism. Though it is a virus it does have supernatural aspects to it such as the "Pure-Blood Spirits" of the pure bloods, as well as the supernatural origins of each clan.
Vampirism is a virus that can be transmitted through the saliva of the vampire, and into the prey through incisions in the neck made by their fangs when feeding. Once infected, if not fully drained, it takes approximately 72 hours for the virus to mutate the soon-to-be vampire, transforming them into a new life form, one that feeds on the blood of humans in order to replenish their hemoglobin, which is not produced in the body of a vampire. A human can also be turned by vampire blood into their system rather than die and within a few hours they turn. The nature of the human's death is irrelevant, however the body must be intact and able to function. Vampires can eat human food, but it has little to no nutritional value. Along with "The Thirst", vampirism also endows someone with an improved metabolism and biological functions that grant it a much increased longevity, superhuman physical and mental capabilities, and the ability to recover from tremendous injury in a relatively short amount of time, all of which are directly granted via new specialized organs that are created during the mutation process.
Vampires are much stronger and faster than humans, displaying impressive physical strength to jump and leap great distances and deliver blows and strikes that can knock a full grown man across a room and moving fast enough to side-step bullets. Their pounces and throws can make concrete crack. They possess impressive physical resilience, shrugging off injuries that would kill a normal human, with the wound only slowing them down. Injuries they receive recover quickly, taking less time than it would for humans or even regenerating lost body parts, a process which is sped up by the consumption of blood. Vampires can perform amazing feats of superhuman agility. Vampire assassins display superhuman maneuvers in their battle with Blade. Their senses are also refined and heightened to a very high degree. In the series, it is shown that vampires can perceive things in the ultraviolet spectrum. Depending on what Tribe they come from, vampires will possess specific strengths and drawbacks, in addition to their inherent abilities. These vampires, especially the reapers, have also been shown to be able to scale almost any surface, in the same manner as spiders. On occasion, they have been shown to be able to do so without the aid of using their hands and standing up straight while mounted on the wall (as seen in Blade: The Series).
Despite their impressive physical and mental abilities, they have many drawbacks. They are severely allergic to silver, sunlight, garlic, and EDTA. The allergic reaction is so severe that it causes vampires to spontaneously combust and turn into ash. The exception is EDTA, which caused Vampires to expose into a bloody mess. Deacon Frost, however, was able to temporarily suppress his weakness to UV rays by wearing sunblock. They are also addicted to blood, which acts as sustenance and a drug for them. This is seen in its extreme with the reapers who are so dependent on human and vampire blood, that not having it in their system causes their metabolism to burn faster and cause rapid deterioration to their body. Despite popular belief, vampires are not harmed by holy items such as holy water or crucifixes.
The vampire race also possesses its own language, which all vampires can speak. Though most vampires shown in the films and series are bilingual, able to speak both the English and vampire languages, some are only capable of speaking the vampire language. It appears that this vampire-language is part of the vampire strain`s genetic memory, as all vampires are able to speak the language.
Vampires are divided into two specific species categories: pure blood and non-pure blood (turned), which in turn, carries with it a specific connotation that is reflected in their society and hierarchy. As seen in the Blade films and in Blade: The Series, pure bloods are born-vampires, offspring that were conceived between two turn-blood or born vampires.