Say Hello To Another New Covid-19 Variant Called The 'Deltacron'
After just reporting on the new 'IHU' variant that was seemingly detected around the same time as the Omicron variant, a scientist in Cyprus discovered a new strain of the virus called the 'Deltacron', and yes the name comes from the Delta and Omicron variants for its shared characteristics.
Don't panic just yet, there are several virologists who mentioned that the Cypriot may have mistaken lab contamination with a new Covid-19 variant. "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," said virologist Tom Peacock.
However, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Cyprus, Leondios Kostrikis said that he and his team have already detected about 25 cases of Deltacron, mainly patients that were already hospitalised with Covid-19. He added that the newly detected cases "indicate an evolutionary pressure to an ancestral strain to acquire these mutations and not a result of a single recombination event".
Kostrikis described the new strain as "Omicron-like signatures within the Delta genomes". "These findings refute the undocumented statements that Deltacron is a result of a technical error," Kostrikis said.
Currently, it is too early to tell what kind of impact this new variant will have or whether it is just a technical error. What do you think?