Covid, Deltacron variant identified in Cyprus: combines Delta and Omicron

Cyprus is confronted with a new Covid variant, called Deltacron. It combines the genetic signatures of the Delta and Omicron variants

Deltacron variant discovered in Cyprus

The Bloomberg news agency quotes Leondios Kostrikis, professor of biological sciences at the University of Cyprus and head of the Laboratory of Biotechnology and Molecular Virology.

The name was chosen because of the identification of similar genetic signatures to the other two variants within the genomes.

Deltacron: 25 cases identified

The new variant, Kostrikis explained, was named ‘Deltacron’ because of the identification of similar genetic signatures to Omicron and Delta within genomes.

“Currently there are Omicron and Delta co-infections and we found that this strain is a combination of these two variants,” Kostrikis said again in an interview with Sigma TV Friday.

Kostrikis and his team have identified 25 cases of Deltacron, Bloomberg reports

Statistical analysis, Kostrikis explained, shows that the relative frequency of the combined infection is higher among patients hospitalised for Covid than among non-hospitalised patients.

The sequences of the 25 Deltacron cases were sent to Gisaid, the international database that tracks changes in the virus, on 7 January for further study.

“We will see in the future if this strain is more pathological or more contagious or if it will prevail” over Delta and Omicron, the researcher said.

He stressed, however, that he thought this strain might be overpowered by the Omicron variant, which has proved highly contagious but also less lethal, according to early studies, especially with vaccinated people.

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