From Stargate LRP
This entry will attempt to cover everything we know about Goa'uld symbiots. Please note that to pretty much all intents and purposes anything said here applies to the Tok'ra as well as they are basically the same race just with a different outlook. Where needed any difference will be noted.
[ General Overview]
The Symbiote is a parasitic, snake like alien race which survices by invading and dominating alien races. They invade the body though the soft tissue on the back of the neck or through the mouth as they need to attach themselves to the base of the cerebal cortex and wrap themselves around the spinal column. In effect they possess the body taking control of all motor bio-electrical and neural signals.
The Symbiote is then capable of dominanting the host suppressing it's personality and memories. A Goa'uld will completly submerge the host's personality and will often claim that it no longer exsists, though this is not true. In fact the host is aware of what is going on but is unable to do anything except watch. We believe that if a way can be found to remove the symbiote that the original personality will return to the host, though what mental state this may be in is impossible to tell. The Tok'ra claim to have a method to force a Goa'uld to leave withoiut killing the host but it hasn't been tested and they think it willl be dangerous to the host.
The Tok'ra symbiotes form symbiotic relationships with their hosts taking longer to merge with them so that the host's personality stays complete and dominate. They form a partnership where they share the control of the body and share each others memories and knowledge. While Tok'ra symbiotes could take full control it is extermely unlikely due to their moral code.
[ Biological makeup]
A fully grown symbiote in it's natural form is a smallish snake like creature approximately a foot to 2 foot long. It is possible for symbiotes to live without a host but they prefer to live in a host as it has many advantages. Without a host they are largely restricted to an liquid enviromeent, have limited communication abilities and no way to use technology. They do not seem to be able to survive long unless contained inside a suitable container such as a Host, a Jaffa carrying pouch or in a suitable vessel full of liquid. However they can survive for a short time on land and do move surprisingly quickly.
Most Symbiotes are 'male' and do not breed. There are only a few Queens who are the ones who create new symbiotes. When a Queen spawns she normally produces a large number of lava at one time.
Symbiote lava gain racial memories from thier mother which includes attitudes and moral codes, the Queen can manipulate what is passed on to her offspring. This is the main reason the Goa'uld and Tok'ra differ so much in their treatement of hosts as Egeria the Tok'ra Queen 'programed' her offspring with her view that the forced taking of hosts as aborent.
Very young lava need a liquid enviroment, once they are older they can be inqubated in the special pouch that a Jaffa has in their torso, these pounches provide a growing lava with an ideal enviroment and improves their ability to successfully take a host but they can not support a fully developed symbiote. Symbiots do not normally take to a host until they reach maturity, though they may try in an attempt to survive.
[ Biological changes in Hosts and Jaffa]
Symbiotes give both Jaffa and hosts extremely good healing and regenerative powers which means that they are immune to most illnesses and toxins as well as healing fast and having extended life spans.
Once a Jaffa has a symbiote implanted they must continue to carry one for the rest of thier life as the symbiote distroys the Jaffa's immune system replacing it with thier own, so as each symbiote matures the Jaffa must recieve another or die.
Humans are the prefered host for a symbiote but it is possible to use any fairly large animal.
The only outward signs that someone is a host of a Symbiote is that thier voice has a deep resonance and their eyes glow, however it is possible for the Symbiote to use the hosts original voice and suppress the glow in their eyes so that they appear completely human.
While a symbiote merges more completely with a host they do not distroy the immune system in the same way though their superiour one does take over for as long as they are merged. A symbiote can extend a host's life span to several times thier racial norm however a symbiote will have many human hosts over it's lifetime as they can live for many hundreds of years. Goa'uld use a sarcophagus to extend the life time of both their hosts and themselves so that they are able to keep the same host almost indefiatly if they so wish.
When a host body dies or is close to death a symbiot can leave that host and look for a new host. This happened when the Gamma site was invaded and the UKGC reporter was infected by the symbiot.
It is also possible for a Symbiote to kill their host so care must be taken if considering trying to remove them. If they feel they have no chance of surviving a Goa'uld may well kill their host out of spite. Tok'ra do not take unwilling hosts so in almost every case they would attempt to leave a host who did not wish them to co-habit the body. However there is always a risk to both host and symbiot when they de-merge especially if they have be merged for an extended period of time and even if it is successful the host will have to cope with the sudden reduction in their immune system and the lack of regenerative ability.
[ Detection of Symbiotes]
Once a symbiote is in a host body it is hard to detect as they will heal any damage done in invading the body. A number of tests have been developed by UKGC which can help this.
[ Blood Test]
A simple blood test has been developed which looks for a number of changes in the blood cells of an infected host. As the Hosts body undergoes changes due to the Naquada appearing in their blood as well as changes to their biology which represents the increase in their immune system.
This test is not fool-proof and it is a possible for a false positive to be detected.
[ MRI Scans]
An MRI scan of the Base of the Skull and neck area will reveal a symbiot attached to a host body.
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