variant combining Delta and Omicron identified; Dogs Sniff Out Viruses With High Accuracy – SABC News

Hybrid versions of the coronavirus that combine genes from the delta and omicron variants — dubbed “deltacron” — have been identified in at least 17 patients in the United States and Europe, researchers said.

Because there are so few confirmed cases, it’s too early to know if Deltacron infections are highly communicable or cause serious illness, said Philippe Colson of IHU Mediterranee Infection in Marseille, France, lead author of a report published on Tuesday The peer review was previously published on medRxiv.

His team described three patients in France infected with a version of SARS-CoV-2 that combines the spike protein of an omicron variant with the “body” of a delta variant. Two other unrelated Deltacron infections have been identified in the United States, according to an unpublished report by genetic research company Helix, submitted to medRxiv and viewed by Reuters. On virus research bulletin boards, other teams have reported another 12 Deltacron infections in Europe since January – all with an Omicron spike and a Delta body.

Human coronavirus genetic recombination is known to occur when two variants infect the same host cell. “During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, two or more variants have been circulating during the same time periods and in the same geographic areas… This has created opportunities for recombination between these two variants,” Colson said, adding that his team developed one PCR test that “can quickly test positive samples for the presence of this… virus.”

Dogs sniff coronavirus with high accuracy

New research shows trained dogs could help screen crowds to identify people infected with the coronavirus.

At two community screening centers in Paris, 335 volunteers who received traditional PCR tests also provided sweat samples. A total of 78 people with symptoms and 31 people without symptoms tested positive by PCR. Given the sweat samples to be sniffed, the dogs were 97% accurate in detecting the infected patients and 100% accurate in detecting the infection in the asymptomatic patients, according to a report published on medRxiv Tuesday ahead of the peer review.

They were also 91% accurate in identifying volunteers who were not infected and 94% accurate in excluding infection in those without symptoms.

“Dog tests are non-invasive and provide immediate and reliable results,” the authors said. “Further studies will focus on direct dog sniffing to evaluate sniffer dogs for mass pre-testing at airports, ports, train stations, cultural activities or sporting events.”

Future varieties of concern are likely lurking in today’s patients

The many coronavirus particles in an infected person are likely to include some mutated particles that could turn out to be early examples of important variants, new findings suggest.

In a detailed analysis of virus particles obtained from 10 people with infections attributed to the alpha variant in Spain in April 2021, the researchers identified some mutated particles resembling the omicron variant, which only became official seven months later has been identified.

They also found mutations characteristic of one form of Delta and Iota, according to a report published Tuesday in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. While identifying the dominant variant in an individual patient may be sufficient for diagnostic purposes, the “ultra-deep” genetic sequencing used in this study could help scientists track mutations in SARS-CoV-2 particles that could develop into variants of concern, they said Researchers.

“The virus that replicates in each infected patient is actually a mixture of slightly different SARS-CoV-2 viruses,” and these different viruses make up different proportions of the overall “ensemble,” said co-author Celia Perales of from the Autonomous University of Madrid. Minority variants in one infected person can become dominant in another, either by accident or due to a selective advantage related to the presence or absence of drugs, vaccines or other factors, she said.

variant combining Delta and Omicron identified; Dogs Sniff Out Viruses With High Accuracy – SABC News

Source link variant combining Delta and Omicron identified; Dogs Sniff Out Viruses With High Accuracy – SABC News

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