‘Deltacron’: Know about the new Covid-19 strain that combines Delta and Omicron

A new strain of Covid-19 that combines Delta and Omicron has now been found in the island nation of Cyprus. “There are currently Omicron and Delta co-infections and we found this strain that is a combination of these two,” Leondios Kostrikis, professor of organic sciences at the University of Cyprus and head of the Laboratory of Biotechnology and Molecular Virology advised Sigma TV in an interview.

He added that the “discovery was named Deltacron due to the identification of Omicron-like genetic signatures within the Delta genome”.

The professor and his group have claimed to establish 25 such instances, and as per statistical evaluation, the relative frequency of the mixed an infection is larger amongst sufferers hospitalised on account of Covid-19 as in comparison with non-hospitalised ones.

While no worldwide authority has thus far commented on the findings, the analysis group has despatched their findings to GISAID, the worldwide database that tracks viruses, on January 7, 2022.

A well being employee distributes breakfast to Covid sufferers at a care centre in New Delhi (Express Photo by Amit Mehra)

However, some specialists say that it can’t be thought-about a new variant as it’s “not traced or plotted on a phylogenetic tree of SARS-CoV-2 viruses”.

Virologist Tom Peacock from Imperial College London mentioned on Twitter, “Small update: the Cypriot ‘Deltacron’ sequences reported by several large media outlets look to be quite clearly contamination – they do not cluster on a phylogenetic tree and have a whole Artic primer sequencing amplicon of Omicron in an otherwise Delta backbone”.

Simply put, he talked about how “most likely (all the samples) were all sequenced on the same sequencing run in the same lab on the same day which had a contamination issue”, one thing which has been discovered to have occurred in the previous. And due to this fact, it could possibly’t be categorised as “novel variant”.

Adding that we’re only some weeks into Omicron instances, the virologist mentioned that “true recombinants don’t tend to appear” so quickly. “Until a few weeks/months after there’s been substantial co-circulation, we’re only a couple of weeks into Omicron – I really doubt there are any prevalent recombinants yet,” he talked about in the Twitter thread.

“Preliminary findings by researchers of the 25 cases suggest that this variant could be displaced by the highly contagious Omicron variant, but this variant shouldn’t be something to worry about at present, said Dr Viswesvaran Balasubramanian, consultant interventional pulmonology and sleep medicine, Yashoda Hospitals Hyderabad. “As of the available preliminary data, 11 out of the 25 cases were reported from hospitalised patients, while the rest 14 cases were identified in the general public,” talked about Dr Balasubramanian.

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