A new strain of COVID-19, that combines the delta and omicron variant was discovered in Cyprus, according to Leondios Kostrikis, professor of biological sciences at the University of Cyprus and head of the Laboratory of Biotechnology and Molecular Virology.
In an interview with Sigma TV on Friday, 7 January, Kostrikis was quoted as saying, "There are currently omicron and delta co-infections and we found this strain that is a combination of these two," Bloomberg reported.
Kostrikis added that the discovery was named "deltacron" after the identification of omicron-like genetic signatures within the delta genomes.
Around 25 such cases have been identified by Kostrikis and his team, while the statistical analysis shows that the relative frequency of the combined infection is higher among patients hospitalised due to COVID-19 as compared to non-hospitalised patients.
The sequences of the 25 deltacron cases were sent to GISAID, the international database that tracks changes in the virus, on 7 January.
Commenting on how serious the threat of Deltacron will be, he added, "We will see in the future if this strain is more pathological or more contagious or if it will prevail."
It’s important to note that Deltacron is not the official name given by the World Health Organization (WHO) and is not an officially acknowledged variant either.
(With inputs from Bloomberg.)