Covid XE variant found in Gujarat

New Delhi: A person in Gujarat has been infected with Coronavirus variant XE, reports said. One case of XM variant has also been detected in the State.

The new variant, XE, is a mutant hybrid of two versions of Omicron – BA.1 and BA.2. It only accounts for a small fraction of cases across the globe at the moment.

While several variants of the coronavirus have emerged in the last two years because of mutations, recombination variants occur when, in extremely rare situations, two different lineages of the virus co-infect the same cell in the host and exchange fragments of their individual genomes.

This generates a descendent variant having mutations that occurred in both the original lineages of the virus. The XE variant, for instance, is a recombinant of the BA.1 and BA.2 subtypes of the Omicron variant.