UK reports its first case of Deltacron—a hybrid of Omicron and Delta Covid virus: Report

WION Web Team
New Delhi Updated: Feb 17, 2022, 07:30 PM(IST)

Deltacron Photograph:( WION Web Team )

Story highlights

The hybrid ‘Deltacron’ was developed in a patient who caught both variants, Delta and omicron, at the same time

A new type of Coronavirus that is a hybrid form of Delta and Omicron has been detected in the United Kingdom, health officials said.

The UK Health Security Agency officials (UKHSA), however, said they are yet not worried about it as the cases are low.

According to MailOnline, the hybrid ‘Deltacron’ was developed in a patient who caught both variants, Delta and Omicron, at the same time.

The officials are probing whether it was imported or originated in Britain. They also said that they are yet to determine how infectious or severe the newly evolved virus is or whether it will impact vaccine performance. 

A UKHSA source told MailOnline, “We monitor everything as a matter of course, but we are not particularly anxious about this variant. It is on that list just because we are currently looking at it.”

The super-mutant virus, whose scientific name is BA.1 + B.1.617.2, was first discovered by a researcher in Cyprus late last year.

Also read | COVID-19: Is 'Deltacron' a new variant? A UK virologist explains what it could possibly be

Leonidos Kostrikis, who works at the University of Cyprus, claimed that his team identified 25 cases of Deltacron.

According to Kostrikis, the hybrid strain has Omicron-like genetic signatures within the Delta genome.

However, many leading publications dismissed the discovery as “lab error”.

Also read | New Covid variant called 'Deltacron' detected in Cyprus; 25 cases so far

Thomas Peacock, a research associate at Imperial College London's Barclay Laboratory, which focuses on coronavirus research, said on Twitter that Deltacron “looks to be quite clearly contamination”.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) had earlier pointed out that it’s possible for an individual to be infected with different variants of SARS-CoV-2.

The Omicron variant, which is presently the dominant strain in many countries, has more than 30 mutations in it spike protein.

(With inputs from agencies)

Read in App