Can variants merge? This is what this professor of biological sciences at the University of Cyprus thinks, who claims to have found in 25 cases, a strain of Covid-19 combining the Delta variant and Omicron.
“There are currently Omicron and Delta co-infections and we have found this strain which is a combination of the two,” Professor Leondios Kostrikis said in an interview for a Cypriot TV channel on Friday January 7th.
And as Cyprus Mail reports, this new variant which shares the genetic background of the Delta variant with some of the Omicron mutations, justifies the new name, “Deltacron”.
After researching the mutations found only in Omicron cases, Professor Kostrikis and his team identified the Delta variant in 25 samples, 11 of which were from people hospitalized with Covid-19.
According to them, “the relative frequency of mutations is higher in hospitalized patients, which could mean that there is a correlation between Deltacron and hospitalizations”.
Sequences sent to Gisaid
The sequences of the 25 cases of this variant have been sent to the international virus database, Gisaid. While waiting for the latter to make the data available to the global scientific community, Dr. Kostrikis said, however, that it was still too early to know the impact of this combination between Omicron and Delta.
“We will see in the future if this strain is more pathological or more contagious or if it will prevail over Delta and Omicron,” he said according to Bloomberg.