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COVID strains combine to produce 'persistent' variant in US: report

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-11-25 13:54

A pedestrian walks in front of a COVID-19 vaccination site in the Brooklyn borough of New York, the United States, Nov 19, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

LONDON - Scientists have identified a "persistent" COVID variant in the United States which emerged after two different strains of the virus combined to share characteristics, The Independent newspaper has reported.

After analyzing the genetic make-up of a variant called B.1.628, researchers from Oxford University concluded that it emerged following a recombination event between two different strains B.1.631 and B.1.634.

As the virus continues to spread and builds up greater genetic diversity, there are concerns that recombination events could become more pronounced and produce an offspring variant that carries concerning characteristics, according to the newspaper.

Recombination events are "clearly a cause for concern" and do have the "potential to be a source for a new super variant", Professor Lawrence Young, a virologist at the University of Warwick, was quoted as saying.

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