What we know about the new variant

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Dr Leondios Kostrikis, University of Cyprus, said the frequency of mutation in hospitalized patients was higher and could indicate a correlation between the new variant and hospitalization

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Just days after France announced the discovery of the ‘IHU’ variant, another new variant of the Deltacron coronavirus has emerged in Cyprus that has a similar genetic background to the Delta variant, as well as some of the Omicron mutations.

So far, the scientific name of the new variant has not been announced.

But just like in the case of her French parents, experts say it’s not something to worry about just yet.

So here’s what we know:

Deltacron

So far, a total of 10 mutations have been found in the 25 samples taken in Cyprus. Eleven of the samples were from people hospitalized with the virus, while 14 were from the general population, reported Jerusalem Post citing Cyprus Mail.

Dr Leondios Kostrikis, head of the Biotechnology and Molecular Virology Laboratory at the University of Cyprus, said the frequency of the mutation in hospitalized patients was higher and may indicate a correlation between the new variant and hospitalizations.

Kostrikis also pointed out that the variant has a similar genetic background to the Delta variant, as well as some of Omicron’s mutations.

The new variant was not of concern at the moment, Cypriot Health Minister Michalis Hadjipandelas said on Saturday. He also expressed his pride in discovering the new variant.

Hadjipandelas said: “The groundbreaking research and discoveries of Dr. Kostrikis’ team make us proud of our scientists. The minister also stressed that this research places Cyprus on the international health map, according to Jerusalem Post.

Also read: Omicron: A Layman’s Guide to Understanding COVID-19 Variants and Strains

But according to a report by Hindustan times, virologist Tom Peacock said on social media that Deltacron may not have been a real variant, but may have been the result of contamination. “So when new variants go through the sequencing lab, contamination is not that uncommon (very, very small volumes of fluid can be the cause) – usually these fairly clearly contaminated sequences are not reported by the. mainstream media, ”he explained.

“Recombinants are definitely worth watching and will almost certainly end up being found, but this particular example is almost certainly contamination,” he wrote.


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