The latest addition to the arsenal of Covid variants, the strain “Deltacron” has seen itself being labelled as a “lab contamination” in a sharp turn of events. The quite interesting claims takes it source from a virologist in the UK.
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A UK-based virologist has called the new Covid variant dubbed “Deltacron” a “lab contamination” rather than a new strain after a researcher in Cyprus declared his team had discovered it, reports the Business Standard.
The Cypriot ‘Deltacron’ sequences published by multiple major media platforms appear to be “contaminated,” according to Tom Peacock, a virologist at Imperial College London.
“When new variants come through sequencing lab contamination isn’t that uncommon (very very tiny volumes of liquid can cause this) – just usually these fairly clearly contaminated sequences are not reported by major media outlets,” Peacock said in a Twitter thread on Sunday.
According to him, Omicron hasn’t propagated in a significant enough number lengthy enough to develop a real recombinant.
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True recombinants don’t usually show up until several weeks/months following widespread co-circulation.
“We’re only a couple of weeks into Omicron – I really doubt there are any prevalent recombinants yet,” he said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has yet to express an opinion on the situation.
The genetic characteristics of ‘Deltacron,’ as disclosed in the GISAID database, doesn’t really reflect a recombinant, either.
Previously, Leondios Kostrikis, the director of the University of Cyprus’s laboratory of biotechnology and molecular virology, stated that his team had discovered a novel variation called “Deltacron” in 25 patients.
According to Kostrikis, 11 of the 25 specimens collected in Cyprus were from people who had been hospitalized as a result of the virus, while 14 came from the common public.
Nevertheless, Cyprus Health Minister Michalis Hadjipandelas was noted as stating that the new type was isn’t anything to be concerned over at the present.
According to the Cyprus Mail, it’s “quite possible” that perhaps the latest variant hasn’t been discovered elsewhere, and thus the cases’ sequences have been forwarded to GISAID, an open-access database that follows coronavirus advancements.
Scripps Research Translational Institute molecular biologist Eric Topol tweeted: “Deltacron is a scariant. One less thing to worry about.”