NEW DELHI: Deltacron is a supposed new SARS-CoV-2 variant, of the name B.1.640.2.
Researchers in Cyprus said that it contains mutations that appeared to be a combination of Delta and Omicron variants.
Many virologists are not worried about the emergency of this. They globally refute ‘Deltacron’ being a variant, stating that it is most likely the result of laboratory contamination and not a new strain.
Virologists said that lab contamination can happen any time owing to the mixing of fluids at a microscopic level when sequencing viruses.
There are a total of only 24 sequences of the B.1.640.2 (‘deltacron’), while there are over 120,000 sequences of the Omicron variant so there is no risk of the former yet.
Ok, #deltacron. Naming conventions are as follows: unusual sequences are sent to @AndrewRambaut to assign a pango lineage and discussed in the WHO TAG VE. Based on properties, new variants may be assigned. These are the GISAID entries for Cyprus. https://t.co/naBgwmpBpL pic.twitter.com/Ky7cz2XS2P— Marion Koopmans (@MarionKoopmans) January 9, 2022
Because amplicon 72 of Delta is very poorly picked up, any contamination, even at miniscule levels, will get preferentially amplified (because PCR is an exponential process) and you end up with hybrid sequences.— Tom Peacock (@PeacockFlu) January 9, 2022