Is Deltacron, new Covid-19 variant, a real variant?

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Highlights

  • A Cyprus University professor has reportedly discovered a new strain of the coronavirus.
  • The new variant is named 'Deltacron' due to the identification of Omicron-like genetic signatures within the Delta genomes.
  • Experts believe that Deltacron might not be an actual variant but probably a result of contamination.

Leondios Kostrikis, Professor of the Biological Sciences, University of Cyprus, has reportedly discovered a new strain of the coronavirus. It combines the Delta and Omicron variants and has been named Deltacron. The new variant is named 'Deltacron' due to the identification of Omicron-like genetic signatures within the Delta genomes.

When the world was in the grasp of Omicron, the latest variant of SARS-CoV-2, has sparked new concerns. As Deltacron trends on social media, numerous experts also say that it is not a variant of Covid19.

Meanwhile, Cyprus scientist has defended his finding.

Experts believe that Deltacron might not be an actual variant but probably a result of contamination. He also said that contamination isn't that unusual when new variants come through discovery in the lab. Usually, these somewhat evidently contaminated sequences are not reported by major media outlets. Recombinants are worth keeping an eye on, and this example is contamination.

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Eric Topol, Physician-scientist, labelled Deltacron as a 'scariant' instead of a variant. "New subtype is a 'scariant' since it isn't the actual variant but has scared many people. He also said that Deltacron is not an official name that Leondios Kostrikis gave. In an interview with a news channel, Kostrikis noted that there are currently omicron and delta co-infections, and they found this strain is a combination of these two.

Kostrikis and his research team have identified 25 such cases. The statistical analysis shows that infection among these patients is higher than the patients hospitalized due to covid19 than non-hospitalized patients. They would examine if this strain is more pathological or contagious in the future or if it became widespread over delta and Omicron. He thinks that the highly infectious omicron variant will replace this strain.

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