The Deltacron strain of Covid-19, discovered in Cyprus, combines the traits of both the Delta variant and the Omicron variant.
Some experts have said Deltacron is not a variant of Covid-19, which has been trending online. During the same period, Omicron, a new strain of SARS-CoV-2, is sweeping the world.
On social media, Tom Peacock suggested Deltacron might be contaminated rather than a variant.
So, contamination isn’t all that unusual when new variants pass through sequencing labs (very small volumes of liquid can cause contamination) – but usually these fairly clearly contaminated sequences aren’t reported by major news organizations.
Keeping an eye out for recombinants is certainly worthwhile, and they almost certainly will be found, but this particular example is almost certainly contamination, he wrote.
The scientist Eric Topol described Deltacron as a ‘scarariant‘ rather than a variant. He describes a new variant of ‘scarient‘ that isn’t a real variant but scares people unnecessarily.
Deltacron is not the official name of the variant. Leondios Kostrikis, a professor at the University of Cyprus, called the strain Deltacron.
Kostrikis said in an interview with Sigma TV Friday that the strain is called “deltacron” because it possesses genetic signatures similar to omicrons in its delta genome.
Statistically, Kostrikis and his team identified 25 cases of combined infection, and those hospitalized because of Covid-19 were more likely to be hospitalized than those who did not.
The sequences of the 25 deltacron cases were received by GISAID on January 7, the international database that tracks changes in the virus.
This strain will be tested in the future to see if it is contagious, virulent, or if it surpasses delta and omicron in the future. Nonetheless, he believes that this strain will also be displaced by the highly contagious omicron variant.