Deltacron strain? Unlikely … the opinion of scientists

The deltacron strain discovered in Cyprus, according to WHO experts, may be the result of a laboratory error.

WHO has doubts about the emergence of a deltacron strain, and Maria van Kerkhove, head of the organization’s technical team, wrote in Twitterthat a combination of COVID-19 strains is not observed, and the “find” of researchers in Cyprus could well have been caused by contamination of both the sample and equipment during genetic sequencing. She is confident that this led to a laboratory error.

On January 8, it became known that scientists from the Laboratory of Biotechnology and Molecular Virology of the University of Cyprus discovered a new type of coronavirus infection and named the find “deltacron”. They reported a new variant of COVID-19, which they believe is a hybrid of delta and omicron strains.

Leontios Kostrikis, head of the laboratory, announced that deltacron has a similar genetic basis to delta, and a number of its mutations are similar to omicron mutations:

We found a significant number of mutations that were previously only detected during cases of infection with the omicron strain.

According to the scientist, omicron has 30 mutations, and ten of them coincide with those found in samples taken in Cyprus. At the same time, experts found the deltacron strain in 25 samples: 11 belong to patients hospitalized with coronavirus, the rest belong to ordinary local residents.

Gennady Onishchenko, the former chief sanitary doctor of Russia, expressed his opinion on this matter:

Virus strains cannot interact with each other, they are created and come into being in the fight against us, and not among themselves. Most likely, here we can talk about the fact that those mutations that were in the predecessor of the omicron have been preserved.

Kamil Khafizov, head of the scientific group for the development of new diagnostic methods based on sequencing technologies at the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology of Rospotrebnadzor, believes that the discovered hybrid of delta and omicron is too early to be considered a separate strain. According to the scientist, it could arise as a result of contamination of samples in the laboratory. He noted that at the moment there is no unequivocal opinion in the scientific community. The data was indeed entered into the GISAID database. However, upon closer examination, everything points to mutual contamination of the delta and omicron samples.

Anatoly Altshtein, a specialist at the Gamaleya Center, notes that viral strains are constantly changing, and believes that the deltacron strain will not be able to reach the global level, writes “”

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