Proposal Open Access

Introduction of "Deltacron" and GG Omicron Delta PCR testing for while different treatment options for both

Jung Moon

The Delta and Omicron variants are driving a “dual surge” in Covid-related infections all over the world, with daily US cases reaching an all-time high with more than 600 million cases in the world and over 5.49 million deaths to date, according to health officials. The Delta variant was the main variant until December with Omicron replacing it in January 2022 in United States, Most U.S. doctors have no way to determine which variant of the coronavirus a patient is carrying, a distinction that could mean the difference between life and death. High-risk patients carrying the Delta variant could benefit greatly from two particular monoclonal antibody treatments shown to reduce hospitalization and death. But those medications would most likely do nothing for patients with Omicron, who would only respond to a third antibody treatment that is in very short supply. Differentiation of Delta and Omicron variants is also crucial in the decision making of high risk patients, especially when deciding whether they should be considered for in-patient care versus outpatient follow-up. 

Delta patients benefit most from the casirivimab and imdevimab (Regeneron) and Bamlanivimab(Eli Lily), while Omicron patients benefit from  sotrovimab (VIR-7831(GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology); therefore, a kit like GG Omicron and Delta PCR test kit that can diagnose COVID while differentiating delta and Omicron in tens of thousand of patients a day has the potential to guide therapy. It also has the ability detect Stealth Omicron (BA.2, 3) which may not be detected in certain Omicron diagnostic methods and has the potential to detect future mixed delta and omicron type which may well be a problem as has been suggested by Dr. Leonidos Kostrikis.

Deltacron, a new super-variant which show both charateristics of Delta and Omicron, was already found in Cyprus. One of Moderna's bosses, Dr Paul Burton, has warned about this strain previously. Leonidos Kostrikis, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Cyprus announced on last Friday that they have identified 25 “deltacron” cases. “There are currently Omicron and Delta co-infections and we found this strain that is a combination of these two”. He also believes that patients with "Deltacon" are more likley to be inpatients, while other researchers believe that this strain is merely a contamination.

GG COVID-19 Omicron and Delta kit (Cellgenemedix, South Korea, Investigational Use only) is a cost effective diagnostic tool optimized for rapid diagnosis of Omicron/Omicron stealth, Delta, and SARS CoV-2 infection, and is expected to be a useful tool in the control and surveillance as well as accurate diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 in the new, “antigen shift” era of COVID-19 pandemic. 

Accurate diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 as well as differentiation of Delta and Omicron variants is crucial in the decision making of high risk patients, especially when deciding whether they should be considered for in-patient care versus outpatient follow-up. GG COVID-19 Omicron and Delta kit is a cost effective diagnostic tool optimized for rapid (90 minutes from RNA extraction to results) POC diagnosis of Omicron and Delta as well as SARS CoV-2 infection. While it is screening for the variants and cannot replace sequencing as far as accuracy, the analytical sensitivity and specificity is high in our studies and the cost of this test is known to be similar to or slightly more expensive than the previous Real Time RT-PCR test for diagnosis of COVID-19. Also, the ability to screen tens of thousands of patients per lab in one setting is something that sequencing can never do, but real-time PCR can do.

Intermediate results with GG COVID-19 Omicron and Delta kit show that the GG COVID-19 Omicron and Delta kit targeting mutant areas of coronavirus has increased sensitivity to detect COVID-19 in the era of Omicron compared to previous probes targeting N, RdRP, Orf1ab. We believe that this is the solution to the decreased sensitivity and specificity of molecular testing in the era of COVID-19 mutants.

Also, GG COVID-19 Omicron and Delta kit can diagnose the presence of SARS-CoV-2 infection, Omicron infection, stealth Omicron infection, Delta infection, as well as a “Deltacron infection” theoretically, so we would be excited to try this on the new strain of COVID-19 that Dr. Leonidos Kostrikis has found.

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