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Cypriot scientist says he discovered new COVID-19 variant, Deltacron, but scientists are doubtful

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Posted: Monday, January 10, 2022. 2:20 pm CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: A scientist in Cyprus said he discovered a new COVID-19 variant, Deltacron, which combines characteristics of Delta and Omicron, but other scientists are doubtful.

Leonidos Kostrikis, the head of the Laboratory of Biotechnology and Molecular Virology at the University of Cyprus said he discovered 25 cases of ‘Deltacron’.

“We will see in the future if this strain is more pathological or more contagious or if it will prevail,” said Kostrikis on the Cypriot broadcaster Sigma TV last Friday.

However, other scientific experts have questioned Kostrikis’ claim, said German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

Thomas Peacock, a research associate at Imperial College London’s Barclay Laboratory said that ‘Deltracron’ sequencing looks like contamination which “literally happens to every sequencing lab occasionally”.

However, Kostrikis insisted a combination of Delta and Omicron has occurred and that it is not the result of a singular event, like contamination of samples in a lab.

Jeffrey Barrett, director of the COVID-19 Genomics Initiative at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in the United Kingdom, said the Institute’s research makes him believe that the Deltacron variant “is almost certainly not a biological recombinant of the delta and omicron lineages”.

Deutsche Welle reported that Timo Wolf, a doctor and the head of the isolation unit for highly pathogenic diseases at University Hospital Frankfurt, said that to be sure of Kostrikis’ claim needs to be reviewed and to be definitely sure “we’ll have to wait another few weeks”.

 

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