Cyprus Scientists recently found 25 cases of a strain of the coronavirus which is believed blends elements of the delta and omicron variants. They took it to dubbing it “deltacron". The sequences of these deltacron patients were sent to GISAID, the international database that tracks changes in the virus, on January 7.
The discovery was made by Dr Leontios Kostrikis, who leads the team of scientists working at the University of Cyprus biotechnology and molecular virology lab. Speaking to local media, Kostrikis explained that the new variant, Deltacron, shares the genetic background of the Delta variant along with some of the mutations of Omicron.
“We have found a significant number of mutations only previously found in Omicron cases, which is different from other variants as it has 30 mutations,” Dr Kostrikis told Cyprus Mail. “Ten of these were identified in these samples taken in Cyprus”.
The variant was identified in 25 samples taken in Cyprus, of which 11 strains came from people hospitalized for COVID-19 while the remaining 14 from the general population. Kostrikis stated that the frequency of the mutations was higher among those in the hospital, hinting that a correlation between Deltacron and hospitalizations.
According to reports, Cyprus’ Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantelas said acknowledged the expert team and said “The groundbreaking research and findings of Dr Kostrikis’ team make us proud of our scientists as this research puts Cyprus on the international map when it comes to health matters."
However, as the Omicron variant continues to spread in record numbers in Cyprus and the discovery of the Deltacron variant, authorities take additional measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, according to Cyprus Mail.
Further details on the Deltacron variant are awaited over sequence testing at the GISAID.