XD variant: 77 cases in France, symptoms, is it dangerous?

XD variant: 77 cases in France, symptoms, is it dangerous?

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Derived from Delta and Omicron (formerly “Deltacron”), the XD variant is a recombinant of the covid virus. It is said to have infected 77 people in France, but it is no more dangerous than the Omicron BA.2 variant. What are the symptoms of the XD variant? Is more dangerous? Know everything.

Can being infected with two variants of Covid at the same time. the XD variant is a recombinant from Delta and Omicron (formerly “Deltacrone”). Recombinant XD is always detected at low levels (0.2% during the Flash Week 16 survey (April 18-24) and not detected at week 17 (April 25-May 1, 2022)” noted Public Health France in the epidemiological update of May 12. 77 Variant infections XD were investigated by the regional units of Public Health France according to the risk analysis of April 20. Eight hospitalizations have been reported but no cases of critical care or death with the XD variant. “This recombinant is detected at very low levels in France, which is in favor of a no competitive advantage of this variant compared to Omicron BA.2. Other Delta/Omicron recombinants, referred to as XF and XShave arisen in other countries under similar circumstances“specifies the health organization. How many cases precisely in France? What profiles? Rather young people or older people? How to know if you have the XD variant ? which are the symptom typical? Plus dangerous What omicron? The latest information.

Definition: what is the XD variant?

“When two variants circulate at the same time, some people can be infected with two variants simultaneously. These coinfections can cause recombination phenomenanamely exchanges of genetic material between the two variantsrecalls French Public Health. The recombinant therefore has a genome that corresponds in part to that of the first variant and in part to that of the second variant. the the XD variant was first detected in early January 2022, in fact it is a recombinant because he has genetic characteristics of the two parental VOCs (variants) Delta and Omicron (BA.1)” reported Public Health France in its March 25 risk analysis. “the pangolin lineage XD was assigned to this recombinant Y is now the official name of this recombinant (formerly Deltacron)”. This variant has been classified as VUM (Variant Under Monitoring), that is, “variant under evaluation”. The recombination phenomenon is frequent for SARS-CoV-2, and its importance in public health depends on the similarity of the characteristics (transmissibility, pathogenicity, immune escape) between the two parental variants:

►If they have different characteristics, such as Delta and Omicron, improved monitoring is essential determine the characteristics of the recombinant (transmissibility, pathogenicity, immune escape) likely to modify the dynamics of the COVID-19 epidemic.
► The more similar the parental variants, the lower the probability that a recombinant will have different characteristics.

“No case of the XD variant has affected people over 70 years of age”

How many cases of XD variant in France?

In France, between December 2021 and January 2022, the Delta/Omicron co-circulation was associated with the appearance of the XD recombinant. As of April 15, 77 cases of infection with the XD variant (54 confirmed cases and 23 suspected cases not sequenced but linked to a confirmed case) were investigated by the regional units of Public Health France. These sequences correspond to cases from various regions. The XD variant thus represents less than 0.1% of the interpretable sequences. “The median age of the cases was 37 years, the youngest case being 4 years old and the oldest 86 years old. The median age was similar to that of cases of Omicron infectioninvestigated between November 2021 and January 2022″. Six cases of infection with the XD variant reported a previous infection by SARS-CoV-2 (8.1%), that is, a lower proportion than for cases of Omicron infections (14%).

What are the symptoms of the XD variant?

According to Public Health France, the The most common symptoms seen in people infected with the XD variant are: asthenia/fatigue (58%), Headaches (56%), fever (46%), cough (42%) and throat pain (38%). The main difference from previously investigated cases of Omicron infections is the higher rate ageusia [perte du goût] and anosmia [perte d’odorat].

Variant symptoms XD
Symptoms of the 77 cases of infection with the XD variant compared with the cases of infection with Omicron previously investigated. 04/20/2022 © Public Health France

These recombinants are difficult to detect because we do not know at first glance if we are dealing with a co-infection or a hybrid. This is high-flying work in genomics.Y“Indicates Professor Bruno Lina, virologist, in France Inter on Tuesday, March 1, 2022. It was in the framework of the sequencing carried out during the Flash surveys that the first cases of co-infections and recombinations appeared.In France, Enhanced monitoring of Delta/Omicron coinfections has been established to detect possible recombinants as soon as possible.” added Public Health France. Before recalling the context: “Since the end of 2021, an Omicron wave has overlapped with a Delta wave in various regions of the world. This large-scale co-circulation of two variants increases the probability of co-infections and therefore that of recombinants. Several suspected Delta/Omicron recombinants have recently been reported. in the UK, US and Australiaand others are under investigation“.

Is the XD variant more dangerous than Omicron?

The XD variant is not associated with greater danger than the Omicron variant or the Delta variant, according to the observations of the health authorities. Eight hospitalizations were reported among the investigated cases of infection with the XD variant, four of whom were part of a hospital group and were hospitalized for a reason other than COVID-19. “No intensive care admissions and no deathss have been reported, but longitudinal follow-up would be needed to confirm this“reports Santé Publique France on April 20.”This recombinant is detected at very low levels in France, which is in favor of a lack of competitive advantage of this variant compared to Omicron BA.2“adds the health organization.


– Risk analysis related to emerging variants of Sars-Covid-2, April 20, 2022, Santé Publique France.

– Coronavirus: SARS-CoV-2 variant circulation, updated March 23, 2022, Public Health France.

– Flash surveys: evaluation of the circulation of SARS-CoV-2 variants in France, updated on February 28, 2022, Public Health France.

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