March 3, 2024

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Double-variant “Deltacron” is really coming or just sample contamination?

Double-variant “Deltacron” is really coming or just sample contamination?


Double-variant “Deltacron” is really coming or just sample contamination?

On March 14, the news that “the latest variant ‘Deltacron’ was confirmed for the first time” aroused attention.

According to NBC’s report on March 11, the World Health Organization confirmed that a new variant of the new coronavirus has now emerged: Deltacron.

Cases have been reported in both the US and Europe, and the variant has been detected in several regions of France.


Similar claims have been made earlier, but many scientists around the world have previously said that this may be caused by sample contamination. So what is the real situation?



Multiple countries claim to have found a variant of “Deltacron”

According to public reports, relevant cases have been reported in the United States, the Republic of Cyprus (an island country in the northeastern Mediterranean), and European countries such as France, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

So far, at least 17 patients have been infected with the “Delta Coron” variant. 3 cases were reported in France, 2 cases were found in the United States, and 12 new cases were reported in Europe.


The paper published on the research website MedRxiv pointed out that the virus combines the mutations in the new coronavirus delta variant and the Omicron variant.

The “trunk” of the variant comes from the delta variant, and its spike protein– The protein that enables the virus to enter host cells comes from the Omicron variant.


On January 9, Israel’s “Jerusalem Post” quoted Cypriot media reports that researchers from the University of Cyprus suspected of finding a recombinant new coronavirus strain of Delta and Omicron in the local area.

Leondios Kostrikis, director of the Laboratory of Biotechnology and Molecular Virology at the University of Cyprus, said in an interview with Sigma TV on January 7 that after sequencing 1,377 samples, the team found the presence in 25 samples. this new variation. The sequences of the 25 samples have now been uploaded to the Global Shared Influenza Database (GISAID), Cos-Regis said.


Double-variant "Deltacron" is really coming or just sample contamination?

Information on Delta-Omicron recombinant viruses is shared on the front page of the Global Shared Influenza Database (GISAID).


An unpublished report uploaded to the Archives of Medical Papers by Helix Technologies, a genetic research company, found two other unrelated cases of Deltacron infection in the United States. Other research groups have reported 12 new cases of deltacoron infection in Europe since January—all combined with the spinous process and delta corpus of Omicron.


Data provided by the Global Shared Influenza Database (GISAID) showed that genomes with similar characteristics of Deltacron were also found in Denmark and the Netherlands. And according to the GISAID article, this new variant may have been circulating since early January.


British health officials also said in mid-February that they were monitoring a new strain of coronavirus that may be a “recombination” of the Delta and Omicron strains.


On March 8, Philippe Corson of the Mediterranean Institute of Infectious Diseases in Marseille, France, published a report that has not yet been peer-reviewed as the first author on the Archives of Medical Papers online. The Corson team studied three people infected with COVID-19 in France, and the virus they infected combined the spike protein of the Omicron variant with the “body” of the delta variant.


Relevant reported cases were questioned by peers

Scientists around the world also hold different opinions about the cases publicly reported in the above-mentioned countries, and believe that “Deltacron” may be an experimental oolong caused by sample contamination.


Regarding the “Deltacron” discovered by the University of Cyprus team, Maria Van Kerckhoff, technical director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program, said that this may be the result of contamination of samples during the genetic sequencing process, and advised against Use the name Deltacron.


An article published in the British academic journal “Nature” in late January said that many experts believe that the genetic data submitted by the Cyprus University team is not sufficient to identify new mutant strains, and the relevant results may not be due to virus recombination, but may originate from in laboratory contamination.

However, Kostrikis of the University of Cyprus also responded, denying that “Deltacron” was the product of laboratory contamination.


For the 10 cases of “Deltacron” reported in France. A reporter from Xinhua News Agency did find a bulletin on the website of the French public health department, which mentioned that as of February 21, Delta strains and Omicron strains were detected in the samples of 10 patients in France at the same time. feature.

However, the word Deltacron, which corresponds to “Deltacron”, does not appear in the entire communiqué.


For the cases mentioned in the Global Shared Influenza Database (GISAID), Cheryl Bennett, an official at the Platform Foundation’s US Washington, D.C. office, said that given that more than 7 million novel coronavirus genomes have been submitted since January 2020 Going to the platform database, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are some sequencing errors.



Double-variant “Deltacron” is really coming or just sample contamination?

(source:internet, reference only)

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Important Note: The information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice.