Nicosia: A strain of COVID-19 that combines delta and omicron was found in Cyprus, according to Leondios Kostrikis, professor of biological sciences at the University of Cyprus and head of the Laboratory of Biotechnology and Molecular Virology.
"There are currently omicron and delta co-infections and we found this strain that is a combination of these two," Kostrikis said in an interview with Sigma TV Friday. The discovery was named "deltacron" due to the identification of omicron-like genetic signatures within the delta genomes, he said.
Kostrikis and his team have identified 25 such cases and the statistical analysis shows that the relative frequency of the combined infection is higher among patients hospitalised due to COVID-19 as compared to non-hospitalsed patients. The sequences of the 25 deltacron cases were sent to GISAID, the international database that tracks changes in the virus, on January 7.
"We will see in the future if this strain is more pathological or more contagious or if it will prevail" over delta and omicron, he said. But his personal view is that this strain will also be displaced by the highly contagious omicron variant.