Is Deltacron real?
A researcher from Cyprus has discovered a strain in the coronavirus that combines with the Delta as well as the Omicron variants. It has been called Deltacron. In a time where the world is under the suffering of Omicron which is the latest variant of SARS-CoV-2 news of the alleged new variant brought an increase in concern. While Deltacron became popular in social media platforms, a lot of experts believed that it was not a true variant.
Here’s what we have learned to date:
1. Leondios Kostrikis, professor of biological sciences at the University of Cyprus, called the strain “Deltacron”. According to reports, the strain has Omicron-like genetic characteristics within those Delta genomes.
2. 25 cases of Deltacron have been discovered in the past, Bloomberg reported. The exact nature of this strain and the causes of these cases is still unknown.
3. The interviewer Kostrikis stated, “We will determine in the near future whether it is more serious or transmissible or if it is more prevalent.”
4. Sequences for the 25 Deltacron cases were submitted to GISAID The international database that tracks changes to the virus on the 7th of January.
5. Virologist Tom Peacock stated via social networks that Deltacron might not be a genuine variant but may be due to contamination. “So the moment that new versions emerge through the sequencing labs, contamination isn’t common (very tiny amounts of liquid could cause this) but typically, the sequences that are clearly contaminated are not covered by the major media outlets,” he said.
“Recombinants are certainly worth watching and most likely will be discovered. This particular instance is most likely contamination,” he wrote.
It should be noted the fact that Deltacron is not an official title. Before that, the term Delmicron was used to refer to the combination of Delta and Omicron. They aren’t official terms provided by WHO. They are also not officially recognized versions.
In the last few years in the past, aside from Omicron the most recent variant that has been identified is IHU. Both Omicron, as well as IHU, were first discovered in November. While Omicron became the most prevalent variation, IHU remained limited. Isreal recently announced cases of Florona that was thought to be a combination of corona and influenza.