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New effective disinfectant against Cryptosporidium (Crypto) - United Kingdon - Research from Moredun Institute

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Effects of Neonatal Calf Oral Rehydration Therapy on Milk Clotting Time

Author - Nappert G, Spennick H 

Cattle Practice VOL11 Part 4 Page 285


 The effect of 50 commercially formulated neonatal calf rehydration therapy solutions on clotting time of milk in vitro has being investigated. Rennet was used as the clotting agent. Electrolyte solutions that contained large amounts of bicarbonate, and/or citrate (>40 mEq/L), and/or glucose had negative effects on milk clotting time. Isotonic oral electrolyte solutions that contained mainly acetate and propionate did not interfere with milk clotting time if low amounts of citrate (<10 mEq/L) were included. As our knowledge of the nutritional requirements of the calf's digestive tract has become more precise, the feeding of diarrhoeic calves with whole cows milk in combination with these respective metabolisable-bases oral electrolyte solutions to correct or prevent dehydration and metabolic acidosis has been recommended world-wide.

DR Graham Shepherd of G Shepherd Animal Health says that these findings are put to use in our Rehydion Gel Electrolyte, to be fed in the milk. Also our Life Gaurd Electrolyte sachets, mixed with water, but to be fed at different times to milk feeds.


A Guide to Investigating a Herd Lameness Problem
Nigel B. Cook MRCVS
Clinical Associate Professor in Food Animal Production Medicine
University of Wisconsin-Madison
School of Veterinary Medicine 

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Colostrum is more than just Immunoglobulins! Link to article

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Tube Feeding Did Not Reduce IgG Absorption from Colostrum in Penn State Study

Dec 19, 2011

Esophageal or “tube” feeders can be very helpful tools for providing calves with adequate amounts of colostrum as soon as possible after birth. Some farms use them as the primary method of feeding colostrum, while others tube only calves that fail to consume enough colostrum from a bottle. A recent study at Penn State was designed to compare total serum protein and IgG concentrations and apparent efficiency of absorption (AEA) in Holstein heifer calves when colostrum was fed by nipple bottle or esophageal feeder. Results of this study were published in the December 2011 issue of Professional Animal Scientist (Elizondo-Salazar et al.). 

See Table: "Description of treatments and blood parameters at 24 hours of age in calves fed colostrum by nipple bottle, esophageal feeder, or a combination of both"


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Pasteurizing Milk and Colostrum

Professional heifer growers and dairy producers are faced with the challenge of raising healthy calves while still paying close attention to rearing costs and profit. Factors that may be considered in selecting a liquid feeding program may include the number of calves fed, economics and cash flow, nutritional characteristics, calf performance targets, resource availability -- for example, consistent supply of non-saleable milk -- infectious disease control concerns, and personal preferences. Feeding raw non-saleable milk represents one way to gain important economic and nutritional efficiencies but can introduce the risk of infectious diseases to dairy calves. The recent introduction of commercial on-farm pasteurization systems offers producers a method for reducing the risk of pathogen transmission and can be a viable economic strategy for feeding dairy calves. However, to be successful, producers must be committed to properly managing and monitoring a pasteurized, non-saleable milk feeding program. This paper will discuss some of the benefits and limitations of feeding pasteurized non-saleable milk; describe commercially available on-farm pasteurization systems and the results of studies feeding pasteurized non-saleable milk; and outline the important considerations needed to successfully adopt and implement a pasteurized, non-saleable milk feeding program. The paper will also discuss special considerations and early research findings surrounding the heat-treatment of colostrum.

Research shows first-lactation benefit to feeding whole milk to calves

In a recently published study, heifers fed whole milk before weaning produced more milk during their first lactation than those fed milk replacer as calves. Israeli researchers published these results in the June issue of the Journal of Dairy Science.

Forty-six Israeli Holstein calves were allowed to consume as much fresh whole milk or milk replacer as they would drink during two 30-minute feeding periods each day. Free-choice water and starter were also provided. Gradual weaning began at 51 days of age and was completed at 60 days of age. All calves received the same feed from 60 through 150 days of age, at which time half of the heifers were assigned to a growing heifer ration and the other half received the growing heifer ration with an additional 2% protein supplemented. These rations were fed through 320 days of age. From 320 days of age through calving and throughout the first lactation, all heifers received the same ration. Body composition at 60 days and 300 days was measured using an additional 12 heifers that were fed and managed identically to those in the lactation experiment.

Effects of Feeding Heat-Treated Colostrum on Passive Transfer of Immune and Nutritional Parameters in Neonatal Dairy Calves

L. Johnson, S. M. Godden,1 T. Molitor, T. Ames, and D. Hagman Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, University of Minnesota, St Paul 55108

“The most exciting result from this study was that feeding heat-treated colostrum resulted in greater serum IgG concentrations in calves, despite the fact that calves in both treatment groups were fed the same total mass of IgG at the same time after birth and using the same feeding method. The authors hypothesize that greater serum IgG concentrations could have resulted because calves receiving heat-treated colostrum were able to absorb a greater proportion of the total mass of IgG presented to the small intestine.”

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Heat-Treatment of Bovine Colostrum. II: Effects of Heating Duration on Pathogen Viability and Immunoglobulin G

Godden,*1 S. McMartin,* J. Feirtag,† J. Stabel,‡ R. Bey,§ S. Goyal, § L. Metzger,† J. Fetrow,* S. Wells,* and H. Chester-Jones¦

*Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, and †Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota ‡USDA, ARS, National Animal Disease Center, Ames, IA 50010 §Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, and ¦Department of Animal Science, University of Minnesota, St. Paul 55108 Dairy Sci. 89:3476–3483 ©American Dairy Science Association, 2006.

“Large (30-L) batches of moderate- to high-quality bovine colostrum can be heat-treated in a commercial on farm batch pasteurizer at 60°C for at least 120 min without affecting the IgG concentration or sctivity. Mycoplasma bovis, L. monocytogenes, E. coli O157:H7, and S. enteritidis added tocolostrum could not be recovered after colostrum was heat-treated at 60°C for 30 min. Heat-treatment at 60°C for 60 min should be sufficient to eliminate Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (Map) from colostrum in most situations.”

Calf Diseases and Prevention

Sheila M. McGuirk, DVM, PhD and Pamela Ruegg, DVM, MPVM University of Wisconsin-Madison

“The productivity of the herd can be negatively impacted by impaired growth of calves, decreased milk production of animals that experienced chronic illness as baby calves, spread of infectious diseases from calves to adult cows, increased veterinary costs and the limited opportunity for genetic selection due to high mortality of replacement animals. "

"Efficient replacement programs endeavour to calve Holstein heifers that weight 550 kg at 22.5 to 25 months of age. Healthy calves can achieve growth rates that allow them to be bred at 13-15 months of age and maximize the potential productivity of the overall dairy herd.”

On-Farm Batch Pasteurization Destroys Mycobacterium paratuberculosis in Waste Milk

J. R. Stabel USDA-ARS, National Animal Disease Center, 2300 Dayton Rd., Ames, IA 5001 J. Dairy Sci. 84:524–527 ©American Dairy Science Association, 2001.

“These results suggest that batch pasteurization of waste milk contaminated with M. paratuberculosis was effective at generating a clean product to feed to young calves.”

Pasteurized Milk and Colostrum for Calves: An Option or Necessity?

Sandra Godden* and Hugh Chester-Jones¦ *Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, and ¦Department of Animal Science, University of Minnesota, St. Paul 55108

“Studies have shown that pasteurization, both batch and HTST, is effective in destroying viable bacteria for most of the pathogenic species threatening calves. Two studies to-date have used commercial on-farm pasteurization units; one a batch unit, the other HTST–both demonstrated that the pasteurization unit effectively destroyed the Johne’s organism.”

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On-Farm Batch Pasteuristion Destroys Mycobacterium Paratuberculosis In Waste Milk

Dairy Sci 2001;84(2):524-527

“These results suggest that batch pasteurization of waste milk contaminated with M. paratubertculosis was effective at generating a clean product to feed to young calves.”

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Mycobacterium Paratuberculosis–Johne’s Disease

Dairy Sci 2002;85(12):31228-3205

A total of 18, including 7 regular batch and 11 high temperature short time (HTST) pasteurization experiments were conducted in this study. Milk samples were spiked with escherichia coli and mycobacterium bovis BCG survivors were detected from any of the slants or broths corresponding to the seven regular batch pasteurization trials. Mptb survivors were detected in two of the HTST experiments.

Pasteurisation of Discard Mycoplasma Mastitic Milk

J. Dairy Sci 2000;83(10):2285-8

“...on-the-farm pasteurization of the discard milk...prevented additional illness in the calves.”

Microbial Risk

Calf Notes; Calf Note #35-2001. Dr. Quigley

“Pasteurization can be an effective means for reducing microbial load of waste milk and improving overall milk quality. Calves fed pasteurized colostrum and waste milk were worth $8.13 more in gross margin per calf compared with calves fed non pasteurized milk and colostrum.”

Pasteurised Waste Milk Safe For Cows

Agri-View 04/16/2003

“It was then pasteurized using two commercial on-farm pasteurizers – a batch model (from DairyTech Inc., Windsor, Colorado) and a high temperature, short-time (HTST) model (from BetterMilk Inc., Winona, Minnesota). Godden says pasteurization with the batch unit destroyed all of the organisms in both milk and colostrum.”

Feeding Colostrum, Its Composition and Feeding Duration Variably Modify Proliferation and Morphology of the Intestine and Digestive Enzyme Activities of Neonatal Calves1,2

Urs Blättler*,3, Harald M. Hammon*, Claudine Morel*, Chantal Philipona*, Andrea Rauprich*, Véronique Romé†, Isabelle Le Huërou-Luron†, Paul Guilloteau† and Jürg W. Blum*4

* ; Division of Nutritional Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, CH-3012 Berne, Switzerland and; †; Unité Mixte de Recherches sur le Veau et le Porc, Institut National de la Recherches Agronomique, F-35042 Rennes, France

4To whom correspondence should be addressed at Division of Nutritional Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Berne, Bremgartenstr. 109a, CH-3012 Berne, Switzerland. E-mail: [email protected]

(Journal of Nutrition. 2001;131:1256-1263.)
© 2001 The American Society for Nutritional Sciences


We studied the effects of amounts of colostrum consumed on intestinal morphology and proliferation and digestive enzyme activities in neonatal calves. Group GrCmax calves were fed colostrum from the first milking undiluted on d 1–3 and diluted with 25, 50, 75 and 75 parts of a milk replacer on d 4–7. Group GrC1–3 calves were fed colostrum from milkings 1–6 up to d 3 and then a milk replacer up to d 7. Group GrF1–3 calves were fed a milk-based formula (containing only traces of growth factors and hormones) up to d 3 and then a milk replacer up to d 7. Calves were killed on d 8. Differences in feeding affected villus sizes and villus height/crypt depth ratios in the duodenum (GrCmax > GrC1–3), villus areas and villus height/crypt depth ratios in the jejunum (GrC1–3 > GrF1–3) and crypt depths in the colon (GrF1–3 > GrC1–3). Furthermore, different feeding protocols affected the proliferation rates of epithelial cells in the duodenum (GrC1–3 > GrCmax; GrC1–3 > GrF1–3) and the jejunum (GrF1–3 > GrC1–3; based on Ki-67 labeling). Lipase activities in the pancreas were influenced by colostrum feeding (GrCmax > GrC1–3). Colostrum intake differentially affected intestinal epithelial surface and proliferation and enzyme activities. Feeding high amounts of first colostrum seemed to enhance the survival of mature mucosal epithelial cells in selected parts of the small intestine, whereas the lack of colostrum seemed to decrease epithelial growth.

Research shows first-lactation benefit to feeding whole milk to calves

Jun 10, 2010

Calves fed whole milk maintained their 6 to 7% body weight advantage from weaning through 600 days of age and tended to be heavier at calving than those fed milk replacer. Supplemental protein did not affect heifer growth through 600 days of age. Thirty-six heifers completed their first lactation, and those fed whole milk as calves produced 5.3 lbs/d more milk than their counterparts fed milk replacer (71.2 versus 65.9 lbs/d).


Microbial Risks In Feeding Colostrum To Calves

Microbial contamination of colostrum can contribute to calfhood disease and can interfere with passive absorption of colostral antibodies, producers should adopt management strategies to reduce bacterial counts in colostrum fed to calves. S Godden from the Department of Veterinary Population Medicine at University of Minnesota looks at minising the risks.

Preventing bacterial contamination during colostrum harvest or feeding

Methods to avoid pathogen contamination from infected glands or fecal contamination include preventing the calf from suckling the dam, careful attention to the udder preparation routine prior to harvesting colostrum and avoiding pooling of raw colostrum. It may also be useful to identify infected cows, an example being to test cows for infection with MAP prior to calving. However, given the poor sensitivity of diagnostic tests for MAP, the latter approach is likely to be imperfect. Development and strict adherence to protocols for cleaning and sanitation of milking, Stewart et al., (2005) emphasised the importance of udder preparation, equipment sanitation, and proper storage techniques in order to prevent bacterial contamination and proliferation in fresh colostrum. 

The first objective of this study was to identify control points for bacterial contamination of colostrum during the harvest and feeding processes. First-milking colostrum samples were collected aseptically directly from the mammary gland of 39 cows, from the milking bucket, and from the esophageal feeder tube. All samples underwent bacteriological culture for total plate count and total coliform count. Bacteria counts were generally low or nil in colostrum collected directly from the gland (geometric meanudder = 27.5 cfu/ml). 

However, significant bacterial contamination occurred during the process of milking the colostrum into the bucket (geometric meanbucket = 97,724 cfu/ml). No additional bacterial contamination occurred between the bucket and the esophageal feeder tube. These results emphasise the importance of properly prepping and sanitising udders prior to colostrum harvest, milking into a clean, sanitised bucket, and transferring colostrum into clean, sanitised storage or feeding equipment (Stewart et al., 2005).

Preventing bacterial proliferation in stored colostrum

It is well understood that bacteria present in stored colostrum or milk can begin to multiply rapidly if stored at warm ambient temperatures, but will still multiply, albeit more slowly, in the refrigerator. If colostrum is not to be fed within 1-2 hours of collection, it should be quickly refrigerated (for up to 48 hours) or frozen. Use of potassium sorbate preservative may also delay bacterial proliferation in refrigerated colostrum. This effect was amply demonstrated by Stewart et al., (2005) with the completion of a second study to describe the effect of refrigeration (vs ambient temperature) and use of potassium sorbate preservative (vs no preservative) on bacteria counts in stored fresh colostrum. For this study aliquots of colostrum were collected from the milking bucket and allocated to one of four treatment groups: I) Refrigeration (approx. 40 °Fahrenheit) , 2) Ambient temperature (approx. 73°Fahrenheit) , 3) Refrigeration with potassium sorbate preservative (0.5 per cent solution) and 4) Ambient temperature with potassium sorbate preservative. 

Subsamples from each treatment group were collected after 0, 24, 48, and 96 h of storage. Storing colostrum at warm ambient temperatures resulted in the most rapid increase in bacteria counts, followed by intermediate rates of growth in non-preserved refrigerated samples or preserved samples stored at ambient temperature. However, by 48 hours of age, bacteria counts in refrigerated, non-preserved samples (group i) or preserved ambient temperature samples (group iv), where just as high as for non-preserved samples stored at ambient temperature (group ii). The most effective treatment studied was the use of potassium sorbate preservative in refrigerated samples (group iii), for which total plate count and total coliform counts dropped significantly and then remained constant during the 96-h storage period (Figure 1). 

Figure 1. Effect of Storage Temperature and Use of Preservative on Total Bacteria Counts in Stored Fresh Bovine Colostrum (a,b,c,d: Different subscripts differ within given storage period. P < 0.05) (From Stewart et al., 2005).

The results of this research suggest that, at a minimum, producers should refrigerate colostrum as quickly as possible after collection, if it is to be stored for more than a couple of hours before feeding. These results also suggest that producers should try to feed up non-preserved stored colostrum as rapidly as possible (goal < 2 days). Though not widely adopted by the industry, these results show the benefits of combining the use of a preservative (approximate cost = $0.50 per gallon) to prevent bacterial proliferation in stored colostrum for at least as long as 96 hours. Studies describing the final shelf-life of preserved colostrum are ongoing. Information on potassium sorbate suppliers, mixing and use can be found at: While the use of preservatives looks promising, further research on preservatives is needed, as some preservatives may damage colostral immunoglobulins. 

All producers should take steps to minimise contamination or bacterial proliferation during harvest, storage, or feeding. Additional steps producers may consider include discarding colostrum from high risk or known infected cows (e.g. Johne¡¯s test-positive cows) (McGuirk et al., 2004). Producers should also avoid pooling fresh colostrum, as this may increase the risk of transmitting infectious pathogens to more than one calf. Freezing colostrum is one additional method to prevent bacterial proliferation in stored colostrum. However, producers must be cautious not to overheat colostrum during the thawing process (keep ¡Ü 140 ¡ãF) or IgG denaturation could occur. Additional tools that some producers may consider using include the use of commercial colostrum replacers or feeding pasteurised colostrum. 

Additional tools designed to reduce or eliminate pathogen exposure through colostrum include the feeding commercial colostrum replacers or pasteurising colostrum. These two options will be discussed next.

Commercial colostrum replacers

Commercial colostrum replacement (CR) products may provide a viable alternative to feeding maternal colostrum and could serve as a very effective management tool to prevent colostral disease transmission. These CR products contain bovine Ig that is typically either lacteal-derived or plasma-derived and are intended to completely replace maternal colostrum feedings. The CR should contain a minimum of 100 grams of IgG per dose, the minimum recommended dose in order for calves to receive to attain a predicted final serum IgG > 10 mg/ml (Quigley et al., 2001; Quigley et al., 2002), and must also contain a nutrient pack that provides a source of protein, energy, vitamins and minerals similar to levels found in maternal colostrum. If CR products prove to be an effective substitute for maternal colostrum while potentially reducing disease transmission, they could serve as one critical control point for preventing the transmission of several infectious diseases, including Johne’s disease (Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis, MAP). These products have the added benefit of being convenient to quickly mix and feed. 

In a recent controlled field study of 12 Midwest dairy farms initiated in 2003, heifer calves were separated from their dams within 0.5 to 1 h after birth and systematically assigned (alternately for every other calf born) to be fed maternal colostrum (MC, n = 261) or colostrum replacer (CR, n = 236). The heifer calves were followed to adulthood and tested for MAP infection using a commercially available ELISA assay and the conventional bacterial fecal culture test for MAP at 30, 42, and 54 months of age. Results showed that calves fed the CR had an estimated 44 per cent reduction in risk for testing positive to MAP (ELISA and /or Fecal culture) as compared with calves fed MC at birth (Haz. ratio = 0.559, P = 0.056) (Pithua et al., 2009). This study demonstrated that raw maternal colostrum can be an important source for transmission of MAP to newborn calves, and showed that colostrum replacement products can be an effective management tool in infected dairy herds that are attempting to reduce the prevalence of Johne’s disease. 

Despite their potential to control transmission of some diseases, the results of early CR product research has shown mixed results in their ability to consistently achieve successful passive transfer in calves (serum IgG < 10.0 mg/ml) (Quigley et al., 2001). However, studies seem to report better rates of successful passive transfer (serum IgG > 10.0 mg/ml) when calves were fed higher doses (IgG mass) in a CR product. This led Quigley to suggest feeding higher doses of CR, thereby increasing the IgG intake and improving the 24 hour serum IgG concentrations of calves. One example of this: Jones et al (2004) reported an average serum IgG concentration of 13.96 mg/ml in calves fed two doses of a CR product in two feedings (total dose = 249 g IgG for Holsteins or 186 g IgG for Jerseys). More recently a study reported that the average 24 hr serum IgG level for calves fed either 1 dose (100 g IgG) or 2 doses (200 g IgG) of a lacteal-derived commercially available colostrum-derived product were 11.6 ± 2.9 mg/ml and 16.9 (± 6.2) mg/ml, respectively (Land O’ Lakes Colostrum Replacement. Land O’ Lakes Inc. St. Paul, MN) (Foster et al., 2006). In a similarly designed study using the same commercial CR product, the average serum IgG for calves fed either 1 dose (100 g IgG) or doses (200 g IgG) was 9.6 mg/ml and 19.0 mg/ml, respectively. In this second study, feeding 2 doses (200 g IgG) of this CR product produced serum IgG levels similar to feeding 4 quarts of fresh maternal colostrum (20.7 mg/ml) (Godden et al., 2009). 

In summary, CR products may offer producers a convenient way to provide adequate passive immunity to dairy calves while reducing the risk of pathogen exposure through colostrum. Feeding CR products is certainly recommended in situations where a sufficient volume of clean, high quality colostrum is not available from the cow and when stored colostrum is not available. Large scale, long-term studies are still needed to describe the health and economic-benefit of adopting this practice as a routine management tool. If using colostrum replacers, producers are advised to feed 150 to 200 g IgG in a colostrum replacer product that has been previously tested for efficacy.

General recommendations for on-farm pasteurisation of colostrum.

Handling of raw and pasteurised colostrum:

  • Minimise contamination of raw colostrum by collecting colostrum from a properly prepped, disinfected udder into a clean sanitised bucket. 
  • If there is to be greater than a 2 hour delay between colostrum collection and pasteurisation, refrigerate the raw colostrum in sanitised covered containers. 
  • After pasteurisation is completed, quickly cool colostrum and then either feed to calves within two hours, refrigerate in covered sanitised containers, or freeze in clean containers or bags. This is to prevent recontamination and to delay or slow the regrowth of bacteria. 
  • Ensure proper cleaning and sanitation of the pasteuriser equipment plus colostrum collection, storage and feeding equipment.

Pasteurising colostrum:

  • Use a batch pasteuriser design (not HTST). 
  • Pasteurise at 140 °F (60 °C) for 60 minutes. Do not allow temperatures to fluctuate above 141 °C or denaturation of IgG will begin to occur. 
  • Agitate colostrum continuously during the heating, pasteurisation, and cooling processes. 
  • Routinely monitor times and temperatures during the pasteurisation cycle.


  • Record and monitor health records. Goals for preweaning treatment and mortality rates are < 25 per cent and < 5 per cent, respectively (McGuirk and Collins, 2004). Note: this monitoring should be done for all operations, even if pasteurised colostrum is not fed on the dairy. 
  • Monitor passive transfer of immunity. An excellent way to do this is to use a hand-held refractometer to measure serum total protein levels. This should be done in 12 or more clinically normal calves between 1 to 7 days of age. The goal is for ¡Ý 90 per cent of calves tested to have a serum TP value ¡Ý 5.0 gm/dl. Note: This monitoring is encouraged for all operations, even if pasteurised colostrum is not fed on the dairy. 
  • Periodic culture of raw and heat-treated colostrum samples to monitor efficacy of the heat-treatment process (Goal: Total Bacteria Count in pasteurised colostrum < 20,000 cfu/ml). Paired frozen colostrum samples can be sent to a microbiology lab for this. You must request that lab technicians to be prepared to do multiple dilutions of colostrum.


Because microbial contamination of colostrum can contribute to calfhood disease and can interfere with passive absorption of colostral antibodies, producers should adopt management strategies to reduce bacterial counts in colostrum fed to calves. All producers should pay attention to hygiene and sanitation so as to minimise bacterial contamination during the colostrum harvest, storage and feeding processes. Producers should also take steps to avoid bacterial proliferation if storing colostrum. Methods to achieve this could include rapid refrigeration, freezing, rapid turnover of fresh colostrum (< 48 hrs) and possible use of chemical preservatives. Additional management tools that could further reduce pathogen exposure through colostrum can include feeding commercial colostrum replacement products or feeding pasteurised colostrum.

June 2010

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