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See detailIL-4Ralpha-associated antigen processing by B cells promotes immunity in Nippostrongylus brasiliensis infection.
Horsnell, William G. C.; Darby, Matthew G.; Hoving, Jennifer C. et al

in PLoS pathogens (2013), 9(10), 1003662

In this study, B cell function in protective T(H)2 immunity against N. brasiliensis infection was investigated. Protection against secondary infection depended on IL-4Ralpha and IL-13; but not IL-4 ... [more ▼]

In this study, B cell function in protective T(H)2 immunity against N. brasiliensis infection was investigated. Protection against secondary infection depended on IL-4Ralpha and IL-13; but not IL-4. Protection did not associate with parasite specific antibody responses. Re-infection of B cell-specific IL-4Ralpha(-)/(-) mice resulted in increased worm burdens compared to control mice, despite their equivalent capacity to control primary infection. Impaired protection correlated with reduced lymphocyte IL-13 production and B cell MHC class II and CD86 surface expression. Adoptive transfer of in vivo N. brasiliensis primed IL-4Ralpha expressing B cells into naive BALB/c mice, but not IL-4Ralpha or IL-13 deficient B cells, conferred protection against primary N. brasiliensis infection. This protection required MHC class II compatibility on B cells suggesting cognate interactions by B cells with CD4(+) T cells were important to co-ordinate immunity. Furthermore, the rapid nature of these protective effects by B cells suggested non-BCR mediated mechanisms, such as via Toll Like Receptors, was involved, and this was supported by transfer experiments using antigen pulsed Myd88(-)/(-) B cells. These data suggest TLR dependent antigen processing by IL-4Ralpha-responsive B cells producing IL-13 contribute significantly to CD4(+) T cell-mediated protective immunity against N. brasiliensis infection. [less ▲]

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See detailMassive Depletion of Bovine Leukemia Virus Proviral Clones Located in Genomic Transcriptionally Active Sites During Primary Infection
Gillet, Nicolas ULg; Gutiérrez, Gerónimo; Rodriguez, Sabrina ULg et al

in PLoS Pathogens (2013), 9(10),

Deltaretroviruses such as human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) and bovine leukemia virus (BLV) induce a persistent infection generally asymptomatic but can also lead to leukemia or lymphoma. These ... [more ▼]

Deltaretroviruses such as human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) and bovine leukemia virus (BLV) induce a persistent infection generally asymptomatic but can also lead to leukemia or lymphoma. These viruses replicate by infecting new lymphocytes (i.e. the infectious cycle) or via clonal expansion of the infected cells (mitotic cycle). The relative importance of these two cycles in viral replication varies during infection. The majority of infected clones are created early before the onset of an efficient immune response. Later on, the main replication route is mitotic expansion of pre-existing infected clones. Due to the paucity of available samples and for ethical reasons, only scarce data is available on early infection by HTLV-1. Therefore, we addressed this question in a comparative BLV model. We used high-throughput sequencing to map and quantify the insertion sites of the provirus in order to monitor the clonality of the BLV-infected cells population (i.e. the number of distinct clones and abundance of each clone). We found that BLV propagation shifts from cell neoinfection to clonal proliferation in about 2 months from inoculation. Initially, BLV proviral integration significantly favors transcribed regions of the genome. Negative selection then eliminates 97% of the clones detected at seroconversion and disfavors BLV-infected cells carrying a provirus located close to a promoter or a gene. Nevertheless, among the surviving proviruses, clone abundance positively correlates with proximity of the provirus to a transcribed region. Two opposite forces thus operate during primary infection and dictate the fate of long term clonal composition: (1) initial integration inside genes or promoters and (2) host negative selection disfavoring proviruses located next to transcribed regions. The result of this initial response will contribute to the proviral load set point value as clonal abundance will benefit from carrying a provirus in transcribed regions. [less ▲]

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See detailIllumination of murine gammaherpesvirus-68 cycle reveals a sexual transmission route from females to males in laboratory mice.
Francois, Sylvie; Vidick, Sarah ULg; Sarlet, Mickael et al

in PLoS Pathogens (2013), 9(4), 1003292

Transmission is a matter of life or death for pathogen lineages and can therefore be considered as the main motor of their evolution. Gammaherpesviruses are archetypal pathogenic persistent viruses which ... [more ▼]

Transmission is a matter of life or death for pathogen lineages and can therefore be considered as the main motor of their evolution. Gammaherpesviruses are archetypal pathogenic persistent viruses which have evolved to be transmitted in presence of specific immune response. Identifying their mode of transmission and their mechanisms of immune evasion is therefore essential to develop prophylactic and therapeutic strategies against these infections. As the known human gammaherpesviruses, Epstein-Barr virus and Kaposi's Sarcoma-associated Herpesvirus are host-specific and lack a convenient in vivo infection model; related animal gammaherpesviruses, such as murine gammaherpesvirus-68 (MHV-68), are commonly used as general models of gammaherpesvirus infections in vivo. To date, it has however never been possible to monitor viral excretion or virus transmission of MHV-68 in laboratory mice population. In this study, we have used MHV-68 associated with global luciferase imaging to investigate potential excretion sites of this virus in laboratory mice. This allowed us to identify a genital excretion site of MHV-68 following intranasal infection and latency establishment in female mice. This excretion occurred at the external border of the vagina and was dependent on the presence of estrogens. However, MHV-68 vaginal excretion was not associated with vertical transmission to the litter or with horizontal transmission to female mice. In contrast, we observed efficient virus transmission to naive males after sexual contact. In vivo imaging allowed us to show that MHV-68 firstly replicated in penis epithelium and corpus cavernosum before spreading to draining lymph nodes and spleen. All together, those results revealed the first experimental transmission model for MHV-68 in laboratory mice. In the future, this model could help us to better understand the biology of gammaherpesviruses and could also allow the development of strategies that could prevent the spread of these viruses in natural populations. [less ▲]

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See detailGenome-wide Determinants of Proviral Targeting, Clonal Abundance and Expression in Natural HTLV-1 Infection.
Melamed, Anat; Laydon, Daniel J.; Gillet, Nicolas ULg et al

in PLoS Pathogens (2013), 9(3), 1003271

The regulation of proviral latency is a central problem in retrovirology. We postulate that the genomic integration site of human T lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) determines the pattern of expression ... [more ▼]

The regulation of proviral latency is a central problem in retrovirology. We postulate that the genomic integration site of human T lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) determines the pattern of expression of the provirus, which in turn determines the abundance and pathogenic potential of infected T cell clones in vivo. We recently developed a high-throughput method for the genome-wide amplification, identification and quantification of proviral integration sites. Here, we used this protocol to test two hypotheses. First, that binding sites for transcription factors and chromatin remodelling factors in the genome flanking the proviral integration site of HTLV-1 are associated with integration targeting, spontaneous proviral expression, and in vivo clonal abundance. Second, that the transcriptional orientation of the HTLV-1 provirus relative to that of the nearest host gene determines spontaneous proviral expression and in vivo clonal abundance. Integration targeting was strongly associated with the presence of a binding site for specific host transcription factors, especially STAT1 and p53. The presence of the chromatin remodelling factors BRG1 and INI1 and certain host transcription factors either upstream or downstream of the provirus was associated respectively with silencing or spontaneous expression of the provirus. Cells expressing HTLV-1 Tax protein were significantly more frequent in clones of low abundance in vivo. We conclude that transcriptional interference and chromatin remodelling are critical determinants of proviral latency in natural HTLV-1 infection. [less ▲]

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See detailStrongyloidiasis and Infective Dermatitis Alter Human T Lymphotropic Virus-1 Clonality in vivo.
Gillet, Nicolas ULg; Cook, Lucy; Laydon, Daniel J. et al

in PLoS Pathogens (2013), 9(4), 1003263

Human T-lymphotropic Virus-1 (HTLV-1) is a retrovirus that persists lifelong by driving clonal proliferation of infected T-cells. HTLV-1 causes a neuroinflammatory disease and adult T-cell leukemia ... [more ▼]

Human T-lymphotropic Virus-1 (HTLV-1) is a retrovirus that persists lifelong by driving clonal proliferation of infected T-cells. HTLV-1 causes a neuroinflammatory disease and adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma. Strongyloidiasis, a gastrointestinal infection by the helminth Strongyloides stercoralis, and Infective Dermatitis associated with HTLV-1 (IDH), appear to be risk factors for the development of HTLV-1 related diseases. We used high-throughput sequencing to map and quantify the insertion sites of the provirus in order to monitor the clonality of the HTLV-1-infected T-cell population (i.e. the number of distinct clones and abundance of each clone). A newly developed biodiversity estimator called "DivE" was used to estimate the total number of clones in the blood. We found that the major determinant of proviral load in all subjects without leukemia/lymphoma was the total number of HTLV-1-infected clones. Nevertheless, the significantly higher proviral load in patients with strongyloidiasis or IDH was due to an increase in the mean clone abundance, not to an increase in the number of infected clones. These patients appear to be less capable of restricting clone abundance than those with HTLV-1 alone. In patients co-infected with Strongyloides there was an increased degree of oligoclonal expansion and a higher rate of turnover (i.e. appearance and disappearance) of HTLV-1-infected clones. In Strongyloides co-infected patients and those with IDH, proliferation of the most abundant HTLV-1(+) T-cell clones is independent of the genomic environment of the provirus, in sharp contrast to patients with HTLV-1 infection alone. This implies that new selection forces are driving oligoclonal proliferation in Strongyloides co-infection and IDH. We conclude that strongyloidiasis and IDH increase the risk of development of HTLV-1-associated diseases by increasing the rate of infection of new clones and the abundance of existing HTLV-1(+) clones. [less ▲]

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See detailType I and type III interferons drive redundant amplification loops to induce a transcriptional signature in influenza-infected airway epithelia
Crotta, Stefania; Davidson, Sofia; Mahlakoiv, Tanel et al

in PLoS Pathogens (2013)

The response of cells to virus infection depends on Interferons (IFNs), a group of cytokines which activate the expression of hundreds of genes that help control viral replication inside infected cells ... [more ▼]

The response of cells to virus infection depends on Interferons (IFNs), a group of cytokines which activate the expression of hundreds of genes that help control viral replication inside infected cells. While type I IFN was discovered in 1957, type III IFN (IFNλ, IL-28/29) was characterized recently and is known for its role in the response to hepatitis C virus. Airway epithelia are the primary target of influenza virus, and we studied how infection induces IFNs and which IFN is most important for the epithelial anti-influenza response. We found that infected epithelia detect virus through the cytoplasmic RIG-I/MAVS recognition system, leading to activation of the transcription factor IRF7 and subsequent induction of both type I and III IFNs. All ensuing cellular responses to infection are dependent on the production and secretion of IFNs, as responses are lost in epithelia lacking receptors for both type I and III IFNs. Finally, gene induction is indistinguishable in single receptor-deficient and wild-type cells, indicating that the two IFN systems are completely redundant in epithelia. Thus, influenza infection of airway epithelia induces, via a RIG-I/MAVS/IRF7 dependent pathway, both type I and III IFNs which drive two overlapping and redundant amplification loops to upregulate antiviral genes. [less ▲]

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See detailA peptidoglycan fragment triggers beta-lactam resistance in Bacillus licheniformis.
Amoroso, Ana Maria ULg; Boudet, Julien; Berzigotti, Stephanie et al

in PLoS Pathogens (2012), 8(3), 1002571

To resist to beta-lactam antibiotics Eubacteria either constitutively synthesize a beta-lactamase or a low affinity penicillin-binding protein target, or induce its synthesis in response to the presence ... [more ▼]

To resist to beta-lactam antibiotics Eubacteria either constitutively synthesize a beta-lactamase or a low affinity penicillin-binding protein target, or induce its synthesis in response to the presence of antibiotic outside the cell. In Bacillus licheniformis and Staphylococcus aureus, a membrane-bound penicillin receptor (BlaR/MecR) detects the presence of beta-lactam and launches a cytoplasmic signal leading to the inactivation of BlaI/MecI repressor, and the synthesis of a beta-lactamase or a low affinity target. We identified a dipeptide, resulting from the peptidoglycan turnover and present in bacterial cytoplasm, which is able to directly bind to the BlaI/MecI repressor and to destabilize the BlaI/MecI-DNA complex. We propose a general model, in which the acylation of BlaR/MecR receptor and the cellular stress induced by the antibiotic, are both necessary to generate a cell wall-derived coactivator responsible for the expression of an inducible beta-lactam-resistance factor. The new model proposed confirms and emphasizes the role of peptidoglycan degradation fragments in bacterial cell regulation. [less ▲]

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See detailNecrotrophism is a quorum-sensing-regulated lifestyle in Bacillus thuringiensis.
Dubois, Thomas; Faegri, Karoline; Perchat, Stephane et al

in PLoS pathogens (2012), 8(4), 1002629

How pathogenic bacteria infect and kill their host is currently widely investigated. In comparison, the fate of pathogens after the death of their host receives less attention. We studied Bacillus ... [more ▼]

How pathogenic bacteria infect and kill their host is currently widely investigated. In comparison, the fate of pathogens after the death of their host receives less attention. We studied Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) infection of an insect host, and show that NprR, a quorum sensor, is active after death of the insect and allows Bt to survive in the cadavers as vegetative cells. Transcriptomic analysis revealed that NprR regulates at least 41 genes, including many encoding degradative enzymes or proteins involved in the synthesis of a nonribosomal peptide named kurstakin. These degradative enzymes are essential in vitro to degrade several substrates and are specifically expressed after host death suggesting that Bt has an active necrotrophic lifestyle in the cadaver. We show that kurstakin is essential for Bt survival during necrotrophic development. It is required for swarming mobility and biofilm formation, presumably through a pore forming activity. A nprR deficient mutant does not develop necrotrophically and does not sporulate efficiently in the cadaver. We report that necrotrophism is a highly regulated mechanism essential for the Bt infectious cycle, contributing to spore spreading. [less ▲]

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See detailMyeloid infection links epithelial and B cell tropisms of murid herpesvirus-4.
Frederico, Bruno; Milho, Ricardo; May, Janet S. et al

in PLoS Pathogens (2012), 8(9), 1002935

Gamma-herpesviruses persist in lymphocytes and cause disease by driving their proliferation. Lymphocyte infection is therefore a key pathogenetic event. Murid Herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4) is a rhadinovirus that ... [more ▼]

Gamma-herpesviruses persist in lymphocytes and cause disease by driving their proliferation. Lymphocyte infection is therefore a key pathogenetic event. Murid Herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4) is a rhadinovirus that like the related Kaposi's Sarcoma-associated Herpesvirus persists in B cells in vivo yet infects them poorly in vitro. Here we used MuHV-4 to understand how virion tropism sets the path to lymphocyte colonization. Virions that were highly infectious in vivo showed a severe post-binding block to B cell infection. Host entry was accordingly an epithelial infection and B cell infection a secondary event. Macrophage infection by cell-free virions was also poor, but improved markedly when virion binding improved or when macrophages were co-cultured with infected fibroblasts. Under the same conditions B cell infection remained poor; it improved only when virions came from macrophages. This reflected better cell penetration and correlated with antigenic changes in the virion fusion complex. Macrophages were seen to contact acutely infected epithelial cells, and cre/lox-based virus tagging showed that almost all the virus recovered from lymphoid tissue had passed through lysM(+) and CD11c(+) myeloid cells. Thus MuHV-4 reached B cells in 3 distinct stages: incoming virions infected epithelial cells; infection then passed to myeloid cells; glycoprotein changes then allowed B cell infection. These data identify new complexity in rhadinovirus infection and potentially also new vulnerability to intervention. [less ▲]

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See detailChemR23 dampens lung inflammation and enhances anti-viral immunity in a mouse model of acute viral pneumonia
Bondue, Benjamin; Vosters, Olivier; de Nadai, Patricia et al

in PLoS Pathogens (2011), 7(11), 1002358

Viral diseases of the respiratory tract, which include influenza pandemic, children acute bronchiolitis, and viral pneumonia of the elderly, represent major health problems. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells ... [more ▼]

Viral diseases of the respiratory tract, which include influenza pandemic, children acute bronchiolitis, and viral pneumonia of the elderly, represent major health problems. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells play an important role in anti-viral immunity, and these cells were recently shown to express ChemR23, the receptor for the chemoattractant protein chemerin, which is expressed by epithelial cells in the lung. Our aim was to determine the role played by the chemerin/ChemR23 system in the physiopathology of viral pneumonia, using the pneumonia virus of mice (PVM) as a model. Wild-type and ChemR23 knock-out mice were infected by PVM and followed for functional and inflammatory parameters. ChemR23(-/-) mice displayed higher mortality/morbidity, alteration of lung function, delayed viral clearance and increased neutrophilic infiltration. We demonstrated in these mice a lower recruitment of plasmacytoid dendritic cells and a reduction in type I interferon production. The role of plasmacytoid dendritic cells was further addressed by performing depletion and adoptive transfer experiments as well as by the generation of chimeric mice, demonstrating two opposite effects of the chemerin/ChemR23 system. First, the ChemR23-dependent recruitment of plasmacytoid dendritic cells contributes to adaptive immune responses and viral clearance, but also enhances the inflammatory response. Second, increased morbidity/mortality in ChemR23(-/-) mice is not due to defective plasmacytoid dendritic cells recruitment, but rather to the loss of an anti-inflammatory pathway involving ChemR23 expressed by non-leukocytic cells. The chemerin/ChemR23 system plays important roles in the physiopathology of viral pneumonia, and might therefore be considered as a therapeutic target for anti-viral and anti-inflammatory therapies. [less ▲]

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See detailHTLV-1 propels thymic human T cell development in "human immune system" Rag2(-)/(-) gamma c(-)/(-) mice.
Villaudy, Julien; Wencker, Melanie; Gadot, Nicolas et al

in PLoS Pathogens (2011), 7(9), 1002231

Alteration of early haematopoietic development is thought to be responsible for the onset of immature leukemias and lymphomas. We have previously demonstrated that Tax(HTLV-1) interferes with ss-selection ... [more ▼]

Alteration of early haematopoietic development is thought to be responsible for the onset of immature leukemias and lymphomas. We have previously demonstrated that Tax(HTLV-1) interferes with ss-selection, an important checkpoint of early thymopoiesis, indicating that human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infection has the potential to perturb thymic human alphabeta T-cell development. To verify that inference and to clarify the impact of HTLV-1 infection on human T-cell development, we investigated the in vivo effects of HTLV-1 infection in a "Human Immune System" (HIS) Rag2(-)/(-)gamma(c)(-)/(-) mouse model. These mice were infected with HTLV-1, at a time when the three main subpopulations of human thymocytes have been detected. In all but two inoculated mice, the HTLV-1 provirus was found integrated in thymocytes; the proviral load increased with the length of the infection period. In the HTLV-1-infected mice we observed alterations in human T-cell development, the extent of which correlated with the proviral load. Thus, in the thymus of HTLV-1-infected HIS Rag2(-)/(-)gammac(-)/(-) mice, mature single-positive (SP) CD4(+) and CD8(+) cells were most numerous, at the expense of immature and double-positive (DP) thymocytes. These SP cells also accumulated in the spleen. Human lymphocytes from thymus and spleen were activated, as shown by the expression of CD25: this activation was correlated with the presence of tax mRNA and with increased expression of NF-kB dependent genes such as bfl-1, an anti-apoptotic gene, in thymocytes. Finally, hepato-splenomegaly, lymphadenopathy and lymphoma/thymoma, in which Tax was detected, were observed in HTLV-1-infected mice, several months after HTLV-1 infection. These results demonstrate the potential of the HIS Rag2(-)/(-)gamma(c)(-)/(-) animal model to elucidate the initial steps of the leukemogenic process induced by HTLV-1. [less ▲]

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See detailAntibody evasion by a gammaherpesvirus o-glycan shield.
Machiels, Bénédicte ULg; Lété, Céline ULg; Guillaume, Antoine ULg et al

in PLoS Pathogens (2011), 7(11), 1002387

All gammaherpesviruses encode a major glycoprotein homologous to the Epstein-Barr virus gp350. These glycoproteins are often involved in cell binding, and some provide neutralization targets. However, the ... [more ▼]

All gammaherpesviruses encode a major glycoprotein homologous to the Epstein-Barr virus gp350. These glycoproteins are often involved in cell binding, and some provide neutralization targets. However, the capacity of gammaherpesviruses for long-term transmission from immune hosts implies that in vivo neutralization is incomplete. In this study, we used Bovine Herpesvirus 4 (BoHV-4) to determine how its gp350 homolog - gp180 - contributes to virus replication and neutralization. A lack of gp180 had no impact on the establishment and maintenance of BoHV-4 latency, but markedly sensitized virions to neutralization by immune sera. Antibody had greater access to gB, gH and gL on gp180-deficient virions, including neutralization epitopes. Gp180 appears to be highly O-glycosylated, and removing O-linked glycans from virions also sensitized them to neutralization. It therefore appeared that gp180 provides part of a glycan shield for otherwise vulnerable viral epitopes. Interestingly, this O-glycan shield could be exploited for neutralization by lectins and carbohydrate-specific antibody. The conservation of O-glycosylation sites in all gp350 homologs suggests that this is a general evasion mechanism that may also provide a therapeutic target. [less ▲]

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See detailC-terminal mutants of apolipoprotein L-I efficiently kill both Trypanosoma brucei brucei and Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense.
Lecordier, Laurence; Vanhollebeke, Benoit; Poelvoorde, Philippe et al

in PLoS Pathogens (2009), 5(12), 1000685

Apolipoprotein L-I (apoL1) is a human-specific serum protein that kills Trypanosoma brucei through ionic pore formation in endosomal membranes of the parasite. The T. brucei subspecies rhodesiense and ... [more ▼]

Apolipoprotein L-I (apoL1) is a human-specific serum protein that kills Trypanosoma brucei through ionic pore formation in endosomal membranes of the parasite. The T. brucei subspecies rhodesiense and gambiense resist this lytic activity and can infect humans, causing sleeping sickness. In the case of T. b. rhodesiense, resistance to lysis involves interaction of the Serum Resistance-Associated (SRA) protein with the C-terminal helix of apoL1. We undertook a mutational and deletional analysis of the C-terminal helix of apoL1 to investigate the linkage between interaction with SRA and lytic potential for different T. brucei subspecies. We confirm that the C-terminal helix is the SRA-interacting domain. Although in E. coli this domain was dispensable for ionic pore-forming activity, its interaction with SRA resulted in inhibition of this activity. Different mutations affecting the C-terminal helix reduced the interaction of apoL1 with SRA. However, mutants in the L370-L392 leucine zipper also lost in vitro trypanolytic activity. Truncating and/or mutating the C-terminal sequence of human apoL1 like that of apoL1-like sequences of Papio anubis resulted in both loss of interaction with SRA and acquired ability to efficiently kill human serum-resistant T. b. rhodesiense parasites, in vitro as well as in transgenic mice. These findings demonstrate that SRA interaction with the C-terminal helix of apoL1 inhibits its pore-forming activity and determines resistance of T. b. rhodesiense to human serum. In addition, they provide a possible explanation for the ability of Papio serum to kill T. b. rhodesiense, and offer a perspective to generate transgenic cattle resistant to both T. b. brucei and T. b. rhodesiense. [less ▲]

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