Browsing by Author "Byrne, Andrew W."
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ItemBovine tuberculosis visible lesions in cattle culled during herd breakdowns: the effects of individual characteristics, trade movement and co-infection(Springer, 2017-12) Byrne, Andrew W.; Graham, Jordon; Brown, Craig; Donaghy, Aoibheann; Guelbenzu Gonzalo, Maria; McNair, James; Skuce, Robin A.; Allen, Adrian; McDowell, Stanley W.J.Background: Bovine tuberculosis (bTB), caused by Mycobacterium bovis, remains a significant problem for livestock industries in many countries worldwide including Northern Ireland, where a test and slaughter regime has utilised the Single Intradermal Comparative Cervical Tuberculin (SICCT) test since 1959. We investigated the variation in post-mortem confirmation based on bTB visible lesion (VL) presence during herd breakdowns using two model suites. We investigated animal-level characteristics, while controlling for herd-level factors and clustering. We were interested in potential impacts of concurrent infection, and therefore we assessed whether animals with evidence of liver fluke infection (Fasciola hepatica; post-mortem inspection), M. avium reactors (animals with negative M. bovis-avium (b-a) tuberculin reactions) or Bovine Viral Diarrhoea Virus (BVDV; RT-PCR tested) were associated with bTB confirmation. Results: The dataset included 6242 animals removed during the 14 month study period (2013–2015). bTB-VL presence was significantly increased in animals with greater b-a reaction size at the disclosing SICCT test (e.g. b-a = 5- 9 mm vs. b-a = 0 mm, adjusted Odds ratio (aOR): 14.57; p < 0.001). M. avium reactor animals (b-a < 0) were also significantly more likely to disclose VL than non-reactor animals (b-a = 0; aOR: 2.29; p = 0.023). Animals had a greater probability of exhibiting lesions with the increasing number of herds it had resided within (movement; logherds: aOR: 2.27–2.42; p < 0.001), if it had an inconclusive penultimate test result (aOR: 2.84–3.89; p < 0.001), and with increasing time between tests (log-time; aOR: 1.23; p = 0.003). Animals were less likely to have VL if they were a dairy breed (aOR: 0.79; p = 0.015) or in an older age-class (e.g. age-quartile 2 vs. 4; aOR: 0.65; p < 0.001). Liver fluke or BVDV variables were not retained in either multivariable model as they were non-significantly associated with bTB-VL status (p > 0.1). Conclusions: Our results suggest that neither co-infection of liver fluke nor BVDV had a significant effect on the presence of VLs in this high-risk cohort. M. avium tuberculin reactors had a significantly increased risk of disclosing with a bTB lesion, which could be related to the impact of co-infection with M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) affecting the performance of the SICCT however further research in this area is required. Movements, test history, breed and age were important factors influencing confirmation in high-risk animals. ItemCan We Breed Cattle for Lower Bovine TB Infectivity?(Frontiers Media, 2018-12-07) Tsairidou, Smaragda; Allen, Adrian; Banos, Georgios; Coffey, Mike; Anacleto, Osvaldo; Byrne, Andrew W.; Skuce, Robin; Glass, Elizabeth J.; Woolliams, John A.; Doeschl-Wilson, Andrea B.Host resistance and infectivity are genetic traits affecting infectious disease transmission. This Perspective discusses the potential exploitation of genetic variation in cattle infectivity, in addition to resistance, to reduce the risk, and prevalence of bovine tuberculosis (bTB). In bTB, variability in M. bovis shedding has been previously reported in cattle and wildlife hosts (badgers and wild boars), but the observed differences were attributed to dose and route of infection, rather than host genetics. This article addresses the extent to which cattle infectivity may play a role in bTB transmission, and discusses the feasibility, and potential benefits from incorporating infectivity into breeding programmes. The underlying hypothesis is that bTB infectivity, like resistance, is partly controlled by genetics. Identifying and reducing the number of cattle with high genetic infectivity, could reduce further a major risk factor for herds exposed to bTB. We outline evidence in support of this hypothesis and describe methodologies for detecting and estimating genetic parameters for infectivity. Using genetic-epidemiological predictionmodels we discuss the potential benefits of selection for reduced infectivity and increased resistance in terms of practical field measures of epidemic risk and severity. Simulations predict that adding infectivity to the breeding programme could enhance and accelerate the reduction in breakdown risk compared to selection on resistance alone. Therefore, given the recent launch of genetic evaluations for bTB resistance and the UK government’s goal to eradicate bTB, it is timely to consider the potential of integrating infectivity into breeding schemes. ItemEditorial: Bovine Tuberculosis—International Perspectives on Epidemiology and Management(Frontiers Media, 2019-06-25) Byrne, Andrew W.; Allen, Adrian; O'Brien, Daniel J.; Miller, Michele A.Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) remains a prominent zoonotic pathogen on the world stage, with significant impacts on animal and human health, and economic well-being. Eradication is hampered by a complex epidemiology, which in many countries involves wildlife hosts. Indeed, despite advances in understanding gleaned from national programs of bTB eradication, much of our understanding of transmission mechanisms, diagnostics, control, and multi-host infection systems remains opaque. In this collection of Frontiers in Veterinary Science, as editors, we felt these limitations could best be addressed by adopting an international perspective. Localism understandably focuses on the fine details of problems at hand, but can perhaps overlook issues that only become apparent when compared to the experiences of others. Below we summarize the papers published in this truly international collection, and highlight some themes. We trust readers will find these articles as stimulating to read as they were to edit. ItemEuropean badger (Meles meles) responses to low-intensity, selective culling: using mark recapture and relatedness data to assess social perturbation(Wiley, 2022-07-28) Allen, Adrian; Milne, Margaret Georgina; McCormick, Charles M.; Collins, Shane; O'Hagan, Maria; Skuce, Robin A.; Trimble, Nigel; Harwook, Roland; Menzies, Fraser; Byrne, Andrew W.Culling the main wildlife host of bovine tuberculosis in Great Britain (GB) and Ireland, the European badger (Meles meles), has been employed in both territories to reduce infections in cattle. In GB, this has been controversial, with results suggesting that culling induces disturbance to badger social structure, facilitating wider disease dissemination. Previous analyses hypothesized that even very low-level, selective culling may cause similar deleterious effects by increasing ranging of individuals and greater mixing between social groups. To assess this hypothesis, a novel, prospective, landscape-scale ‘before-and-after’ Test and Vaccinate or Remove (TVR) study was implemented. Test-positive badgers were culled and test-negative badgers were Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccinated and released. Mark–recapture metrics of badger ranging and genetic metrics of social group relatedness did not change significantly over the study period. However, selective culling was associated with a localized reduction in social group relatedness in culled groups. Ecological context is important; extrapolation across territories and other disease epidemiological systems (epi-systems) is likely to be challenging. However, we demonstrate that small-scale, selective removal of test-positive badgers was not associated with metrics of increased ranging but was associated with localized changes in social group relatedness. This adds to the evidence base on badger control options for policy makers. ItemGenomic epidemiology of Mycobacterium bovis infection in sympatric badger and cattle populations in Northern Ireland(Microbiology Society, 2023-05-25) Akhmetova, Assel; Guerrero, Jimena; McAdam, Paul; Salvador, Liliana C. M.; Crispell, Joseph; Lavery, John; Presho, Eleanor; Kao, Rowland R.; Biek, Roman; Menzies, Fraser; Trimble, Nigel; Harwood, Roland; Pepler, P. Theo; Oravcova, Katarina; Graham, Jordon; Skuce, Robin; du Plessis, Louis; Thompson, Suzan; Wright, Lorraine; Byrne, Andrew W.; Allen, AdrianBovine tuberculosis (bTB) is a costly, epidemiologically complex, multi-host, endemic disease. Lack of understanding of transmission dynamics may undermine eradication efforts. Pathogen whole-genome sequencing improves epidemiological inferences, providing a means to determine the relative importance of inter- and intra-species host transmission for disease persistence. We sequenced an exceptional data set of 619 Mycobacterium bovis isolates from badgers and cattle in a 100 km2 bTB 'hotspot' in Northern Ireland. Historical molecular subtyping data permitted the targeting of an endemic pathogen lineage, whose long-term persistence provided a unique opportunity to study disease transmission dynamics in unparalleled detail. Additionally, to assess whether badger population genetic structure was associated with the spatial distribution of pathogen genetic diversity, we microsatellite genotyped hair samples from 769 badgers trapped in this area. Birth death models and TransPhylo analyses indicated that cattle were likely driving the local epidemic, with transmission from cattle to badgers being more common than badger to cattle. Furthermore, the presence of significant badger population genetic structure in the landscape was not associated with the spatial distribution of M. bovis genetic diversity, suggesting that badger-to-badger transmission is not playing a major role in transmission dynamics. Our data were consistent with badgers playing a smaller role in transmission of M. bovis infection in this study site, compared to cattle. We hypothesize, however, that this minor role may still be important for persistence. Comparison to other areas suggests that M. bovis transmission dynamics are likely to be context dependent, with the role of wildlife being difficult to generalize. ItemGrazing cattle exposure to neighbouring herds and badgers in relation to bovine tuberculosis risk(Elsevier, 2020-09-30) Campbell, Emma; Menzies, Frazer D.; Byrne, Andrew W.; Porter, Siobhán; McCormick, Carl M.; McBride, Kathryn R.; Scantlebury, D. Michael; Reid, NeilBovine tuberculosis (bTB) can be spread between and among cattle and wildlife hosts e.g. European badger (Meles meles). The majority of cattle in the UK and Ireland are grazed during the summer, potentially exposing them to Mycobacterium bovis. 18 farms were surveyed (39% dairy, 61% beef; fields n = 697) for one grazing season (May-November 2016, n = 148,461 field days) to quantify the co-occurrence of cattle with badger setts and latrines and adjacency to neighbouring cattle herds. 3% (n = 24) of the fields had a badger sett or latrine recorded, dairy cattle were significantly more likely to co-occur with badger setts and latrines than beef cattle. Most farms (89%) grazed cattle adjacent to a neighbouring herd, which accounted for 18% of the grazing season. Potential exposure to neighbouring herds did not differ between production systems but did vary between life stages. A significant positive association between the proportion of time cattle spent grazing fields with setts present and the historic 1-, 3- and 5- year bTB status (p = 0.007, p = 0.013 and p = 0.013 respectively) was found. However, when cattle were grazed in fields with latrines, a significant negative association was found between the proportion of time cattle spent grazing fields with latrines present and the historic 3- and 5- year bTB status (p = 0.033 and p = 0.012 respectively). Historic bTB status and percentage of days spent beside a neighbouring herd was unrelated. Idiosyncrasies at farm-level and between risk factors indicated that individual farm assessments would be beneficial to understand potential exposure risk. ItemIdentification and epidemiological analysis of Perostrongylus falciformis infestation in Irish badgers(Springer, 2019-07-09) Byrne, Jennifer O.C.; Byrne, Andrew W.; Zintl, Annetta; Jankowska, Karolina; Couange, Emmanuel; de Waal, Theo; McCarthy, Crainne; O'Keefe, James; Hamnes, Inger S.; Fogarty, UrsulaBackground: The lungworm, Perostrongylus falciformis (fomerly known as Aelurostrongylus falciformis) has been identified in badgers (Meles meles) in Britain, the Russian Federation, Italy, Norway, Poland, Ukraine, Bosnia Herzegovina and Romania, while Aelurostrongylus pridhami has been reported from badgers in Spain. Results: Pulmonary tissue from 1580 Irish badgers was examined and an estimated prevalence of 32.09% (95% CI: 29.79–34.45%) of this parasite was detected. Confirmation of its occurrence was made by PCR analysis on a subset of the population. Conclusion: Infestation was widely distributed throughout the Republic of Ireland, with a trend towards higher infestation risk in western versus eastern counties. In addition males were at a higher risk of infestation than females and juveniles were at a significantly higher risk than adult badgers. ItemInterspecific visitation of cattle and badgers to fomites: A transmission risk for bovine tuberculosis?(Wiley, 2019-07-09) Campbell, Emma; Byrne, Andrew W.; Menzies, Fraser D.; McBride, Kathryn R.; McCormick, Carl M.; Scantlebury, Neil ReidIn Great Britain and Ireland, badgers (Meles meles ) are a wildlife reservoir of Mycobacterium bovis and implicated in bovine tuberculosis transmission to domestic cattle. The route of disease transmission is unknown with direct, so‐called “nose‐to‐nose,” contact between hosts being extremely rare. Camera traps were deployed for 64,464 hr on 34 farms to quantify cattle and badger visitation rates in space and time at six farm locations. Badger presence never coincided with cattle presence at the same time, with badger and cattle detection at the same location but at different times being negatively correlated. Badgers were never recorded within farmyards during the present study. Badgers utilized cattle water troughs in fields, but detections were infrequent (equivalent to one badger observed drinking every 87 days). Cattle presence at badger‐associated locations, for example, setts and latrines, were three times more frequent than badger presence at cattle‐associated locations, for example, water troughs. Preventing cattle access to badger setts and latrines and restricting badger access to cattle water troughs may potentially reduce interspecific bTB transmission through reduced indirect contact. ItemIs There a Relationship Between Bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) Herd Breakdown Risk and Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis Status? An Investigation in bTB Chronically and Non-chronically Infected Herds(Frontiers Media, 2019-02-14) Byrne, Andrew W.; Graham, Jordon; Milne, Margaret Georgina; Guelbenzu-Gonzalo, Maria; Strain, SamBackground: Bovine tuberculosis (bTB; Mycobacterium bovis) remains a significant problem in a number of countries, and is often found where M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) is also present. In the United Kingdom, bTB has been difficult to eradicate despite long-term efforts. Co-infection has been proposed as one partial mechanism thwarting eradication. Methods: A retrospective case-control study of 4,500 cattle herds in Northern Ireland, where serological testing of cattle for MAP, was undertaken (2004–2015). Blood samples were ELISA tested for MAP; infection of M. bovis was identified in herds by the comparative tuberculin test (CTT) and through post-mortem evidence of infection. Case-herds were those experiencing a confirmed bTB breakdown; control-herds were not experiencing a breakdown episode at the time of MAP testing. A second model included additional testing data of feces samples (culture and PCR results) to better inform herd MAP status. Multi-level hierarchical models were developed, controlling for selected confounders. A sensitivity analysis of the effect of MAP sample numbers per event and the prior timing of tuberculin-testing was undertaken. Results: 45.2% (n = 250) of case observations and 36.0% (3,480) of control observations were positive to MAP by ELISA (45.8% and 36.4% when including ancillary fecal testing, respectively). Controlling for known confounders, the adjusted odds ratio (aOR) for this association was 1.339 (95%CI:1.085–1.652; including ancillary data aOR:1.356;95%CI:1.099–1.673). The size-effect of the association increased with the increasing number of samples per event used to assign herd MAP status (aOR:1.883 at >2 samples, to aOR:3.863 at >10 samples), however the estimated CI increased as N decreased. 41.7% of observations from chronic herds were MAP serology-positive and 32.2% from bTB free herds were MAP positive (aOR: 1.170; 95%ci: 0.481–2.849). Byrne et al. MAP Co-infection Impacts bTB Risk Discussion: Cattle herds experiencing a bTB breakdown were associated with increased risk of having a positive MAP status. Chronic herds tended to exhibit higher risk of a positive MAP status than bTB free herds, however there was less support for this association when controlling for repeated measures and confounding. MAP co-infection may be playing a role in the success of bTB eradiation schemes, however further studies are required to understand the mechanisms and to definitively establish causation. ItemIs There a Relationship Between Bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) Herd Breakdown Risk and Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis Status? An Investigation in bTB Chronically and Non-chronically Infected Herds(Frontiers Media, 2019-02-14) Byrne, Andrew W.; Graham, Jordon; Milne, Georgina; Guelbenzu-Gonzalo, Maria; Strain, SamBackground: Bovine tuberculosis (bTB; Mycobacterium bovis) remains a significant problem in a number of countries, and is often found where M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) is also present. In the United Kingdom, bTB has been difficult to eradicate despite long-term efforts. Co-infection has been proposed as one partial mechanism thwarting eradication. Methods: A retrospective case-control study of 4,500 cattle herds in Northern Ireland, where serological testing of cattle for MAP, was undertaken (2004–2015). Blood samples were ELISA tested for MAP; infection of M. bovis was identified in herds by the comparative tuberculin test (CTT) and through post-mortem evidence of infection. Case-herds were those experiencing a confirmed bTB breakdown; control-herds were not experiencing a breakdown episode at the time of MAP testing. A second model included additional testing data of feces samples (culture and PCR results) to better inform herd MAP status. Multi-level hierarchical models were developed, controlling for selected confounders. A sensitivity analysis of the effect of MAP sample numbers per event and the prior timing of tuberculin-testing was undertaken. Results: 45.2% (n = 250) of case observations and 36.0% (3,480) of control observations were positive to MAP by ELISA (45.8% and 36.4% when including ancillary fecal testing, respectively). Controlling for known confounders, the adjusted odds ratio (aOR) for this association was 1.339 (95%CI:1.085–1.652; including ancillary data aOR:1.356;95%CI:1.099–1.673). The size-effect of the association increased with the increasing number of samples per event used to assign herd MAP status (aOR:1.883 at >2 samples, to aOR:3.863 at >10 samples), however the estimated CI increased as N decreased. 41.7% of observations from chronic herds were MAP serology-positive and 32.2% from bTB free herds were MAP positive (aOR: 1.170; 95%ci: 0.481–2.849). Discussion: Cattle herds experiencing a bTB breakdown were associated with increased risk of having a positive MAP status. Chronic herds tended to exhibit higher risk of a positive MAP status than bTB free herds, however there was less support for this association when controlling for repeated measures and confounding. MAP co-infection may be playing a role in the success of bTB eradiation schemes, however further studies are required to understand the mechanisms and to definitively establish causation. ItemPestivirus Apparent Prevalence in Sheep and Goats in Northern Ireland: A Serological Survey(British Veterinary Association, 2021-01-12) Campbell, Emma; McConville, James; Clarke, Joe; Donaghy, Aoibheann; Moyce, Asa; Byrne, Andrew W.; Verner, Sharon; Strain, Sam; McKeown, Ignatius M.; Borne, Paul; Guelbenzu-Gonzalo, MariaBackground: Bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) and border disease virus (BDV) can cause significant health problems in ruminants and economic impacts for farmers. The aim of this study was to evaluate pestivirus exposure in Northern Ireland sheep and goat flocks, and to compare findings with a previous study from the region. Methods: Up to 20 animals were sampled from 188 sheep and 9 goat flocks (n = 3,418 animals; 3,372 sheep and 46 goats) for pestivirus antibodies. Differentiation of the causative agent in positive samples was inferred using serum neutralisation. Abortion samples from 177 ovine cases were tested by BVDV reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction and antigen ELISA. Results: Apparent animal and flock (one antibody positive animal within a flock) prevalence was 1.7% and 17.3%, respectively, a statistically significant drop in apparent prevalence since a survey in 1999. 52.6% of samples testing positive had higher antibody titres to BVDV than to BDV. Of the ovine abortion samples, only one positive foetal fluid sample was detected by ELISA. Conclusion: The present study found that, since 1999, there has been a decrease in apparent animal and flock prevalence of 3.7 and 12.8 percentage points respectively, suggesting pestivirus prevalence has decreased across Northern Ireland between 1999 and 2018. ItemThe population and landscape genetics of the European badger (Meles meles) in Ireland(Wiley, 2018-09-12) Guerrero, Jimena; Byrne, Andrew W.; Lavery, John; Presho, Eleanor; Kelly, Gavin; Courcier, Emily A.; O’Keeffe, James; Fogarty, Ursula; O’Meara, Denise B.; Ensing, Dennis; McCormick, Carl; Biek, Roman; Skuce, Robin; Allen, AdrianThe population genetic structure of free-ranging species is expected to reflect landscape-level effects. Quantifying the role of these factors and their relative contribution often has important implications for wildlife management. The population genetics of the European badger (Meles meles) have received considerable attention, not least because the species acts as a potential wildlife reservoir for bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in Britain and Ireland. Herein, we detail the most comprehensive population and landscape genetic study of the badger in Ireland to date—comprised of 454 Irish badger samples, genotyped at 14 microsatellite loci. Bayesian and multivariate clustering methods demonstrated continuous clinal variation across the island, with potentially distinct differentiation observed in Northern Ireland. Landscape genetic analyses identified geographic distance and elevation as the primary drivers of genetic differentiation, in keeping with badgers exhibiting high levels of philopatry. Other factors hypothesized to affect gene flow, including earth worm habitat suitability, land cover type, and the River Shannon, had little to no detectable effect. By providing a more accurate picture of badger population structure and the factors effecting it, these data can guide current efforts to manage the species in Ireland and to better understand its role in bTB. ItemRabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus 2 (RHDV2; GI.2) in Ireland Focusing on Wild Irish Hares (Lepus timidus hibernicus): An Overview of the First Outbreaks and Contextual Review.(MDPI, 2022-02-22) Byrne, Andrew W.; Marnell, Ferdia; Barrett, Damien; Reid, Neil; Hanna, Robert E.B.; McElroy, Maire C.; Casey, MichaelRabbit haemorrhagic disease virus 2 (RHDV2; GI.2) is a pathogenic lagovirus that emerged in 2010, and which now has a global distribution. Outbreaks have been associated with local population declines in several lagomorph species, due to rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD)-associated mortality raising concerns for its potential negative impact on threatened or vulnerable wild populations. The Irish hare (Lepus timidus hibernicus) is endemic to Ireland, and is of conservation interest. The first cases of RHDV2 in Ireland were reported in domestic rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in 2016, soon followed by the first known case in a wild rabbit also in 2016, from a population reported to be experiencing high fatalities. During summer 2019, outbreaks in wild rabbits were confirmed in several locations throughout Ireland. Six cases of RHDV2 in wild hares were confirmed between July and November 2019, at four locations. Overall, 27 cases in wildlife were confirmed in 2019 on the island of Ireland, with a predominantly southern distribution. Passive surveillance suggests that the Irish hare is susceptible to lethal RHDV2 infection, and that spillover infection to hares is geographically widespread in eastern areas of Ireland at least, but there is a paucity of data on epidemiology and population impacts. A literature review on RHD impact in closely related Lepus species suggests that intraspecific transmission, spillover transmission, and variable mortality occur in hares, but there is variability in reported resistance to severe disease and mortality amongst species. Several key questions on the impact of the pathogen in Irish hares remain. Surveillance activities throughout the island of Ireland will be important in understanding the spread of infection in this novel host ItemRelationship between ambient temperature at sampling and the interferon gamma test result for bovine tuberculosis in cattle(Elsevier, 2023-05-19) Bisschop, P.I.H.; Frankena, K.; Milne, G. M.; Ford, Tom; McCallan, Lyanne; Young, Fiona; Byrne, Andrew W.Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is a disease of significant economic and zoonotic importance, therefore, optimising tests for the identification of Mycobacterium bovis infected cattle is essential. The Interferon Gamma (IFN-γ) Release Assay (IGRA) can diagnose M. bovis infected cattle at an early stage, is easy to perform and can be used alongside skin tests for confirmatory purposes or to increase diagnostic sensitivity. It is known that IGRA performance is sensitive to environmental conditions under which samples are taken and transported. In this study, the association between the ambient temperature on the day of bleeding and the subsequent IGRA result for bTB was quantified using field samples from Northern Ireland (NI). Results of 106,434 IGRA results (2013–2018) were associated with temperature data extracted from weather stations near tested cattle herds. Model dependent variables were the levels of IFN-γ triggered by avian purified protein derivative (PPDa), M. bovis PPD (PPDb), their difference (PPD(b-a)) as well as the final binary outcome (positive or negative for M. bovis infection). IFN-γ levels after both PPDa and PPDb stimulation were lowest at the extremes of the temperature distribution for NI. The highest IGRA positive probability (above 6%) was found on days with moderate maximum temperatures (6–16 °C) or moderate minimum temperatures (4–7 °C). Adjustment for covariates did not lead to major changes in the model estimates. These data suggest that IGRA performance can be affected when samples are taken at high or low temperatures. Whilst it is difficult to exclude physiological factors, the data nonetheless supports the temperature control of samples from bleeding through to laboratory to help mitigate post-collection confounders.