Amid the third wave of COVID-19, researchers have detected a new variant of the coronavirus. This variant combines traits of both Delta and Omicron and therefore has been named ‘Deltacron.’ It was detected in Cyprus and has been given this name by Leondios Kostrikis, professor of biological sciences and head of Laboratory of Biotechnology and Molecular Virology at the University of Cyprus. Confirming the discovery of a new strain, Kostrikis said that they have identified omicron-like genetic signatures within the delta genomes.
“There are currently omicron and delta co-infections, and we found this strain that is a combination of these two. The discovery was named Deltacron due to the identification of omicron-like genetic signatures within the delta genomes,” the professor told Sigma TV in an interview.
Hence, days after experts said that Deltacron that is an alleged hybrid coronavirus mutation discovered in a Cyprus lab is most likely the result of lab contamination, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said that the term is being used when a person is infected with both Delta as well as the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Deltacron is “not really a thing,” they added. The term made headlines this week after a researcher, Leondios Kostrikis, in Cyprus allegedly discovered a strain that combines both the variants. Soon after, a report in Bloomberg claimed that 25 cases of Deltacron were detected in Cyprus.
Cases of Deltacron
There are as many as 25 cases of Deltacron found so far. Out of 25 samples taken in Cyprus, 10 of the mutations from Omicron were found. While 11 samples were of those who hospitalized due to the virus, other 14 samples were taken from the general public.
According to Kostrikis, the chances of getting infected with the Deltacron are higher among those who are hospitalized with COVID-19 when compared to non-hospitalized patients. Kostrikis said that this rules out the contamination hypothesis.
Kostrikis however pointed out that as the frequency of the Deltacron infection among hospitalized patients was higher, it could point to a correlation between the new variant and hospitalizations.