Deltacron recombinant XBC.1.6 at 30% of sequences in South Australia

Australia, BA.2, Coronavirus, Delta, Deltacron, Genome, Infection, Recombination, South Australia, Testing, Transmission, XBC.1.6

We haven’t heard much about Deltacron recombinants recently, but one such variant is making real headway in South Australia – XBC.1.6 – is now at an astonishing 30% of SARS-CoV-2 sequences in that state.

For the purposes of clarity, a Deltacron recombinant is a combination of a Delta variant and an Omicron variant, in this case, Omicron BA.2. A Deltacron recombinant could potentially create the most lethal variant of the pandemic so far, with the transmissibility of Omicron, and the pathogenicity of Delta. Whether XBC.1.6 is that particular recombinant remains to be seen, but nothing that we have seen in the Australian hospitalization data so far has caused us to suspect that it is.


We remain convinced that recombinants are one of the biggest threats of the pandemic, however, and the Coronaheadsup post we have linked to below gives some idea of why.

TLDR: “The probability of co-infection with SARS-CoV-2 and other types of CoVs or even other viruses in a single host would be high, leading to the occurrence of cross-species recombination with high probability.”

China CDC: Deltacron is a “Grey Rhino” event




** This post was originally published on March 29, 2023 **