Deltacron: Scientists In Cyprus Find New COVID-19 Variant That Combines Delta and Omicron
The discovery was named “deltacron” due to the identification of omicron-like genetic signatures within the delta genomes.
Nicosia: Scientists have discovered a new coronavirus variant ‘Deltacron’ in Cyprus that shares its genetic structure with delta and omicron strains of coronavirus. However, the experts that the new strain is not something to be worried about at the moment, a media report said. “There are currently omicron and delta co-infections and we found this strain that is a combination of these two,” said Leondios Kostrikis, professor of biological sciences at the University of Cyprus and head of the Laboratory of Biotechnology and Molecular Virology, according to a Bloomberg report.
The discovery was named “deltacron” due to the identification of omicron-like genetic signatures within the delta genomes, Kostrikis said.
In total, 10 of the mutations from Omicron were found in the 25 samples taken in Cyprus. 11 of the samples came from people who were hospitalized due to the virus, while 14 came from the general population, reported Jerusalem Post citing Cyprus Mail.
The statistical analysis of the samples show that the relative frequency of the combined infection is higher among patients hospitalized due to Covid-19 as compared to non-hospitalized patients. The sequences of the 25 deltacron cases were sent to GISAID, the international database that tracks changes in the virus, on January 7, Bloomberg reported.
“We will see in the future if this strain is more pathological or more contagious or if it will prevail” over delta and omicron, Dr Kostrikis said. But his personal view is that this strain will also be displaced by the highly contagious omicron variant.
Meanwhile, Cyprus’s Health Minister Michalis Hadjipandelas on Saturday said that the new variant was not something to worry about at the moment. The minister also expressed pride in discovering the new variant.
Hadjipandelas said the groundbreaking research and findings of Dr. Kostrikis’ team make us proud of our scientists. The minister also underlined that this research puts Cyprus on the international map when it comes to health matters, according to Jerusalem Post.
So far, the scientific name of the new variant has not been announced.