Researchers at the University of Cyprus’ Laboratory of Biotechnology and Molecular Virology have discovered a new type of COVID, nicknamed ‘deltacron,’ as it carries both mutations found in omicron and delta.
According to the head of the laboratory of biotechnology and molecular virology at the University of Cyprus, Professor Leondios Kostrikis, the new variant has the genetic base of the delta strain but also contains mutations seen in the omicron strain.
In total, 10 of the Omicron mutations were discovered in the 25 samples collected in Cyprus. According to Jerusalem Post, citing Cyprus Mail, 11 of the samples came from persons who were hospitalized due to the Omicron, while 14 came from the general population.
The prevalence of the mutation was higher among hospitalized patients, according to the professor, suggesting a link between the novel variant and hospitalizations.
The expert has specifically said that omicron has 30 mutations, ten of which have been discovered in samples taken in Cyprus.
The new mutant strain has most likely not been detected in other laboratories throughout the world, according to the professor, which is why its discovery could be of global interest.
He also mentioned that the study’s findings were sent to the international GISAID database, which will make them available to the rest of the world’s scientists.
The researcher went on to say that it’s too early to tell if deltacron will be able to supplant the delta and omicron strains.
Dr. Kostrikis’ team’s groundbreaking research and discoveries make us proud of our experts, said Cyprus’s Health Minister Michalis Hadjipandelas on Saturday.
According to the Jerusalem Post, the minister also stated that this research places Cyprus on the international map in terms of health.
Image Credit: NIH/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS
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