Archive for the ‘Anaplasmosis’ Category

CPAC Warns: Lyme Risk Higher Than Ever

CAPC warns that Lyme disease risk is higher than ever

April 20, 2023

The nonprofit Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) — the nation’s leading source on parasitic diseases that threaten the health of pets and people — is warning that the risk of Lyme disease is higher than ever.

In its 2023 Parasite Forecast, CAPC documents how the blacklegged ticks that spread Lyme disease are expanding into new geographical areas. This increases the risk of Lyme disease outside of historically endemic places like the Northeast and Upper Midwest.

Parasite infections are real and can be harmful and even deadly to pets and people. Lyme disease is a predominant One Health issue, an approach calling for the collaborative efforts of multiple disciplines working to attain optimal health for animals, people and the environment.

11 years of forecasts

“Because of the zoonotic potential of pathogens like Lyme disease, we started providing annual forecasts eleven years ago to alert communities about the risks they pose to people and pets,” says Dr. Christopher Carpenter, DVM, and Chief Executive Officer of CAPC.

“Lyme disease, in particular, is an important One Health pathogen that occurs in both veterinary and human medical settings. CAPC’s Pet Parasite Forecast is critical to alerting pet owners, veterinarians and physicians to the risks this year and reinforcing CAPC’s recommendation that all pets need to be annually tested and protected year-round.”

In its 2023 annual forecast, CAPC reports the risk of acquiring Lyme disease in 2023 is elevated due to the expansive nature of the blacklegged tick vector (Ixodes scapularis).

This increase in Lyme prevalence can be attributed to land use, human population growth, urbanization, and changes in wildlife host density and location. Risks have also increased due to rehoming of pets, as well as changes in:

  • Distribution and prevalence of vector (tick) populations
  • Shifting wildlife populations and their infiltration into newly developed and reclaimed areas
  • Short- and long-term changes in climatic conditions
  • Changes in habitat due to natural or human-induced processes

Lyme Disease Forecast

For 2023, CAPC predicts Lyme disease is a high threat and continues to expand southward and westward outside of the historically high-risk areas in the Northeast and Upper Midwest, including Wisconsin, Minnesota and the upper peninsula of Michigan.

There is a higher-than-average seroprevalence predicted in northeastern Tennessee, western Michigan and Ohio, with high-risk “hot spots” expected in northwestern and southwestern Michigan, and southern and northeastern Ohio.

A higher-than-normal risk is also expected in North Dakota, northeastern South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, and eastern Kentucky. The southward movement of Lyme is evident in the increasing risk in the Carolinas and Tennessee.

In addition, CAPC reports a northern expansion into Canada, including southern regions of Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba, as well as on New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, due to increased Lyme detection in Canadian dogs. Pets living in or traveling to these areas are considered at high risk.

Testing and Prevention Strategies

The 2023 forecasts – supported by ongoing research by parasitologists and statisticians in leading academic institutions across the United States – highlight areas where more should be done to lower the risk of companion animals’ exposure to disease vectors, such as ticks.

The foundation of these prevention strategies are recommendations that veterinarians and pet owners test their pets annually for disease and protect their pets with products that kill or repel ticks year-round.

A vaccination for Lyme disease should always be considered for pets in high-risk areas. Lyme disease, in particular, is an important One Health pathogen that impacts the health of both pets and people.

Veterinarians play an important role in preventing zoonotic disease in pets, as well as people, by implementing effective parasite control programs. In regions with historically high prevalence and in forecasted regions of increased risk, veterinarians should reinforce their recommendations of aggressive tick control.

CAPC One Health Study

Research conducted by CAPC underscores the value of CAPC’s prevalence maps and emphasizes the importance of a One Health approach to tick-borne diseases. In 2019, a CAPC study confirmed dogs safeguard humans serving as sentinels to alert humans where they are at greatest risk for tick-borne Lyme disease.

“With dogs being tested annually for exposure to the pathogen that causes Lyme disease, we were able to study over seven years of nationwide canine diagnostic data, representing more than 16 million data points — something difficult to achieve when studying ticks and the environment directly. And unlike the challenges with access to human medical records, anonymous veterinary data does not have these privacy concerns,” said Dr. Michael Yabsley, a CAPC Board Member and professor in the Department of Population Health, College of Veterinary Medicine and Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia.

Results from the study – “Quantifying the relationship between human Lyme disease and Borrelia burgdorferi exposure in domestic dogs” – published in the prestigious, peer-reviewed Geospatial Health quantified the relationship between incidences of tick exposure in domestic dogs to human Lyme disease. The model established in this research broke new ground by giving residents, travelers and health care providers a county-level map to help them identify areas of high Lyme risk across the country.

“By combining sophisticated statistical modeling with this invaluable canine data, we’re enabling veterinary medicine to benefit human medicine,” said Dr. Stella Self, assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at University of South Carolina. “This research represents the first step on the long road to developing a forecast for human Lyme disease.”

30-Day Forecast Maps for Pet Owners

Pet owners who want to monitor the activity in their county throughout the year have access to 30-Day Parasite Forecast Maps at These maps, developed exclusively by CAPC, provide a local forecast for every county in the continental United States on a monthly basis. This free service helps to remind pet owners of the continuous risk in their area and the importance of annual parasite testing and year-round protection.

“Because tick-borne diseases like Lyme are ever-changing, the 30-Day Pet Parasite forecasts at are an invaluable tool to protect both pets and people with monthly updates that show the risk for Lyme disease in their area,” said Dr. Rick Marrinson, Past President/Board Member for CAPC and owner of Longwood Veterinary Clinic in Longwood, Florida.

Other Parasite Spread in 2023

In addition to Lyme disease, CAPC forecasts that heartworm disease, which is transmitted by mosquitoes, and tick-borne diseases ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis, continue to spread throughout the United States in 2023. Veterinarians and pet owners are encouraged to discuss how to effectively address the increased prevalence. Annual testing and year-round use of preventive products remains the best means of providing comprehensive parasite control and disease prevention.

How the Forecasts are Created

The annual CAPC Pet Parasite Forecasts are a collaborative effort between parasitologists and statisticians in leading academic institutions across the United States. These scientists engage in ongoing research and data interpretation to better understand and monitor vector-borne disease agent transmission and changing life cycles of parasites. The forecasts are based on many factors, including temperature, precipitation, and population density.

About the Companion Animal Parasite Council

The Companion Animal Parasite Council is an independent not-for-profit foundation comprised of parasitologists, veterinarians, as well as medical, public health and other professionals, who provide information for the optimal control of internal and external parasites that threaten the health of pets and people.

Formed in 2002, CAPC works to help veterinary professionals and pet owners develop the best practices in parasite management that protect pets from parasitic infections and reduce the risk of zoonotic parasite transmission.

SOURCE OF PRESS RELEASE: The Companion Animal Parasite Council 

CA Ticks Spread Lyme But That’s Not the Whole Story

If you find a tick bite from an Ixodes tick in California, it’s important to consider possible exposure to pathogens that cause more than Lyme disease

Originally published on 

The risk of contracting Lyme disease from a tick bite in California has been well-documented, though there is still a long way to go in educating health providers and the broader community in the exposure risk from a tick bite. TickReport’s surveillance of ticks from California (and Oregon and Washington) goes back as far as 2006 and has expanded in recent years.

What ticks are endemic (commonly and consistently found in wild populations) to California and other West Coast states?

That’s a big question, and there are a few dozen species from different genera or families. Many of those species are specialist feeders and—if everything goes “right” in their life cycle—they will only feed on certain wild mammals, birds, or lizards and will bite humans very rarely. That’s doesn’t mean that finding one of these “specialists” attached to ourselves or a family member is impossible: it’s just much less common (and a topic we’ll try to visit soon in another post).

Our surveillance shows that the majority (91.5%) of human or human-adjacent (dogs, cats, horses, etc) tick bites are caused by the following ticks:

  • Ixodes pacificus (“Western black-legged tick,” a close relative of the Deer tick in the Eastern U.S.)
  • Dermacentor variabilis (“American dog tick”)
  • Dermacentor occidentalis (“Pacific Coast tick”)
  • Dermacentor andersoni (“Rocky Mountain Wood tick”)
  • Ixodes spinipalpis
  • Ixodes angustus
What pathogens can these ticks transmit to humans?

Vector competence (the ability of a vector like a tick to transmit a given disease-causing pathogen) tends to run along genus lines, so species within the Ixodes genus tend to be able to transmit pathogens X and Y but not Z, while Dermacentor species tend to transmit Z but not X and Y.

The most common pathogen found in California ticks is Borrelia burgdorferi, which causes Lyme disease in humans and pets. But there’s more than Lyme in those hills! If you find a tick bite from an Ixodes tick in California, it’s also important to consider possible exposure to these pathogens:

  • Borrelia miyamotoi: a bacterium that can cause hard tick relapsing fever—sometimes called Borrelia miyamotoi disease.
  • Anaplasma phagocytophilum: a bacterium that can cause Human granulocyctic Anaplasmosis.
*For every two ticks we find infected with Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease bacteria), we detect one (or more) of these other pathogens

It’s vital that both tick surveillance and diagnostic approaches keep these non-Lyme pathogens in mind. For every two ticks we find infected with Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease bacteria), we detect one (or more) of these other pathogens, so be sure to resist Lyme Tunnel Vision when responding to a tick bite! Common diagnostic tests for Lyme disease have a specific focus on Lyme disease and will not detect infection by these other pathogens if present. Make sure you and your doctor are considering the whole story of a tick bite.

To learn more about the pathogens we find in West Coast ticks, browse our real-time testing data at If you find and remove a tick, arrange for fast and accurate identification and testing at
The above material is provided for information purposes only. The material (a) is not nor should be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, nor (b) does it necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of Global Lyme Alliance, Inc. or any of its directors, officers, advisors or volunteers. Advice on the testing, treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient’s medical history. 

Paul Killinger oversees tick surveillance and pathogen testing at the TickReport testing lab in Amherst, Massachusetts. He has led the lab's public health education and outreach since 2018.

Study Examines Persistent Powassan in Mice

Feb. 21, 2021
Powassan infection is caused by two closely related, tick-transmitted viruses of the genus Flavivirus (family Flaviviridae): Powassan virus lineage I (POWV) and lineage II (known as deer tick virus [DTV]). Infection is typically asymptomatic or mild but can progress to neuroinvasive disease. Approximately 10% of neuroinvasive cases are fatal, and half of the survivors experience long-term neurological sequelae. Understanding how these viruses cause long-term symptoms as well as the possible role of viral persistence is important for developing therapies.
We intraperitoneally inoculated 6-week-old C57BL/6 mice (50% female) with 103 focus-forming units (FFU) DTV and assayed for infectious virus, viral RNA, and inflammation during acute infection and 21, 56, and 84 days postinfection (dpi). Although most mice (86%) were viremic 3 dpi, only 21% of the mice were symptomatic and 83% recovered. Infectious virus was detected only in the brains of mice sampled during the acute infection. Viral RNA was detected in the brain until 84 dpi, but the magnitude decreased over time. Meningitis and encephalitis were visible in acute mice and from mice sampled at 21 dpi. Inflammation was observed until 56 dpi in the brain and 84 dpi in the spinal cord, albeit at low levels.
These results suggest that the long-term neurological symptoms associated with Powassan disease are likely caused by lingering viral RNA and chronic inflammation in the central nervous system rather than by a persistent, active viral infection. The C57BL/6 model of persistent Powassan mimics illness in humans and can be used to study the mechanisms of chronic disease.
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She’s Battling Lyme, Bartonella, Babesia, Anaplasmosis, and PANS

Eileen Clossick opens up about her Lyme disease, Bartonella, Babesia, and Anaplasmosis, and PANS in an effort to help others and spread awareness.

The puzzle pieces are finally starting to come together after going through what I now recognize was the perfect storm this past year: getting the Covid vaccine (& subsequently developing paresthesia in my legs), contracting Covid, going through an emotional stressor, and then being exposed to mold (and later finding out I have mold toxicity, or “mycotoxicity”). The floodgates were opened, and my body could no longer suppress the viral load it was carrying.

Experiencing Symptoms

I was experiencing such severe insomnia that I would go days without sleeping, even after taking four or five Benadryl at a time. I was having heart palpitations, night terrors, such severe brain fog that I couldn’t plan my days off of work without ending up in tears, tingling in my head as well as my legs, intrusive thoughts, dizzy spells, tinnitus, and neck stiffness. I was seeing black dots, snowflakes, and stars. I had weird neuro symptoms like dropping things all the time and mixing up left and right. I would wake up at night with shaking episodes because I couldn’t regulate my body temperature. And worst of all, I was experiencing a darkness and spiral in my mind that I have yet to figure out how to explain in words. By nature, I am a very joyful, energetic, and enthusiastic person, so I knew that this was not me, and something was deeply wrong. I was afraid to hurt a patient at work due to my exhaustion caused by severe insomnia, so I started calling out of shifts.

After a boatload of research, and visiting and calling multiple doctors and clinics, I finally got into a Lyme Literate doctor. I explained my story to her, all the way back to the onset of symptoms at 5 years old. She looked at me and said, “this is classic Bartonella,1 I’ll be shocked if it isn’t.” I instantly burst into tears in her office, and the only thing I could repeat was “no one should ever be told they’re just anxious for 20 years.”

Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS)

If it hadn’t been for the flare up this past year, I may have never gotten the answers I needed. I was forced to ask the deeper question of what was really going on.

At the age of five, I had a sudden onset of severe anxiety, OCD symptoms, destructive behavior, night terrors, and sensory issues. It escalated to the point that I needed to be admitted to a children’s psych hospital for a little over a week. My doctors tested me for Strep (for a PANDAS diagnosis), which was negative. Unfortunately, they did not have the knowledge of tick borne illnesses or PANS (Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome). So, I was seen as a psych case, told I had a “delay in my neurological development” and prescribed psych meds at a young age. Over the years, I led a normal life, but always dealt with what I believed was an anxiety disorder. So I attributed other strange symptoms to anxiety throughout my life. There have been periods when it was worse than others, but overall, I tried incredibly hard to hide it from most people, because I hated that I struggled with it. If it hadn’t been for the flare up this past year, I may have never gotten the answers I needed. I was forced to ask the deeper question of what was really going on.

Multiple Tick-borne Diseases

thumbnail_image2 (1)-2-1When the full Tick Borne Panel came back, my doctor was correct in her assumption. I was diagnosed with Lyme, Bartonella, Babesia, and Anaplasma. Along with these tick borne illnesses, I also had the Neural Zoomer Plus test done which identified blood brain barrier disruption2 and demyelination. With that, I was diagnosed with PANS. Along with those diagnoses, I was also diagnosed with 9 new food sensitivities and mycotoxicity. My doctor looked at me and said “you’re one tough cookie for walking around with all of this.”

Surprisingly, with each new diagnosis came a sense of relief. I finally had proof that everything I was experiencing was real. This illness can be dangerously misleading, and oftentimes cause me to doubt my own experiences, as I look normal from the outside and I have good moments and days when I feel like myself. Because a lot of what I endure is not outwardly visible to others, I have been challenged to put into words what I am experiencing, so I can let others in, especially those closest to me.

My Most Recent Flare

This past spring, I was having flashbacks to my childhood, and experiencing odd bouts of deja vu. My body was trying to tell me I was experiencing a flare, but I couldn’t read the signs. I was begging the Lord to give me sleep, fighting for rest in any way I could: putting my phone away 2 hours before bed, creating a nighttime routine, etc, all to no avail. Even when I did fall asleep, I was awoken by night terrors, pinprick sensations, or shaking episodes and required even more sleep aides to get back to sleep. I didn’t know if I was doing something wrong. All I knew was that I was struggling and needed help, badly. I didn’t know exactly what was going on at the time, but I knew that I was done taking the band aid approach offered to me. I didn’t want to just take more pills; I wanted to know why I was experiencing all of these random symptoms.

Unfortunately, when these tick borne illnesses and other infections have crossed the blood brain barrier and gone systemic after being in the body for years, antibiotics alone do not work. These bugs are quite intelligent. They create a biofilm to protect themselves. So, while I will most likely be on antibiotics and anti-parasitic drugs long-term, the road to recovery involves so much more than just antibiotics. I have yet to meet a single person who healed from long-term Lyme/coinfections with antibiotics alone. In fact, I experienced some of the worst die-off symptoms (herxing) after starting some of the herbal regimens prescribed by my ILADS doctor. From someone coming from healthcare and working with pharmaceuticals, I had no idea how potent and effective some of these herbs could be.

The Healing Process

thumbnail_image0-1In addition to medications and supplements, there are other supportive therapies to help my body and mind heal. Since this has gone undiagnosed for so long and crossed the blood-brain barrier, I will be undergoing treatment for the next couple of years. There are numerous routes to take, so treatment may look different at different points in time over the next couple of years. Because my immune system has been suppressed for years, I need to do everything I can to help boost it. I am currently taking Immunoglobulins. There are many diet and lifestyle changes to make as well to help boost my immune system and decrease the inflammation in my body and brain.

For me, I’ve found that the best medicine of all is being with people. It’s often seeing others and socializing that pulls me out of the never ending darkness or mental spiral that I can’t escape alone.

And, since my body has been stuck in a fight or flight mode (sympathetic state) for so long fighting infection without me knowing, I have to help my body learn how to re-enter the parasympathetic state (or, rest and digest state). For me, I’ve found that the best medicine of all is being with people. It’s often seeing others and socializing that pulls me out of the never ending darkness or mental spiral that I can’t escape alone. When I was a kid, nothing worked, so I am thankful that I have found something that does work. There are other simple things I’ve found effective such as laughter, music, prayer, and being in nature. There are also certain therapies like cold-water exposure, craniosacral therapy, EMDR therapy, & neurofeedback, that help my body shift from the sympathetic to the parasympathetic state. Our bodies heal best in the parasympathetic state. I could create a whole other blog post just on all the treatment and therapies involved. Keeping track of it all is a full time job in and of itself!

And as I mentioned, there is something called the Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction (or “herxing”). I don’t have a worst enemy, but even if I did, I would not wish this on him or her. Basically, as the bacteria die off, they release toxins, so all of the symptoms you’ve experienced come to a head and get worse before they get better. But, as people have told me, even though it’s a living hell, it’s something to celebrate, because you know you’re hitting the nail on the head. Since most of the symptoms I have experienced have been neuro and psychiatric, and because these bacteria have crossed the blood brain barrier and caused PANS, most of the herxing involves worsening of the neuro and psychiatric symptoms. “In PANS and PANDAS, autoantibodies target healthy proteins or receptors in the brain, principally in the basal ganglia, a region of the brain responsible for motor movements, learning, cognition, and emotion.”3 Because I’ve had this for so many years without knowing, there will be a lot of bacteria that need to die off, and lots of herxing to go through, but I am determined to go through whatever I need to in order to get to the other side. It’s taken me years to arrive at this point; I can’t expect to heal in a month or two. As I begin to experience some days in between herxing where I feel like myself again, I am hopeful for complete healing in time and better days ahead.

There is also the issue of mycotoxicity. Who knew mold could wreak such havoc on your brain and nervous system? When not excreted from the body, it gets stored in fatty tissues, including the brain, which explains why everything got worse when I had a new mold exposure. For whatever reason, people with Lyme & co-infections don’t flush out toxins from their body like the average person (many of these people also have an MTHFR gene mutation).

Due to the ups and downs of these illnesses, many weekly appointments, and the financial burden that comes along with all of this, I made the decision to move home to Rhode Island and go ‘all in’ on my healing journey. Although this has felt like rock bottom all around, I am challenging myself to view this situation in a new light. What if this is an opportunity to give my body the rest, space, and time it needs to heal? What if the “falling apart” of my old life, is actually a new path falling together? What if I can use this as an opportunity to spread awareness, and therefore alleviate the suffering of others? What if I can heal completely, and then get back out there, further my degree, and work with the kiddos (& their families) who battle PANS/PANDAS?

Earlier diagnosis = earlier treatment, and therefore, better outcomes.

thumbnail_image3As I’ve mentioned before, I am open about my journey, in order to spread awareness, and to one day fight alongside and achieve victories for others, so that no one will ever go misdiagnosed for so long like I did. Earlier diagnosis = earlier treatment, and therefore, better outcomes. Because of the frequent mental spiral I experience, especially during this past year, I have doubted many of my decisions. However, since I discovered all of this, I have not for one second doubted that I was handed this cross so that I can one day help others with a similar cross. They say people who battle long term Lyme & co-infections with a purpose and reason to get through it, have better outcomes than those without a purpose, and I have most definitely found mine. No one should go misdiagnosed for 20 years, and then have to fight so hard just for a diagnosis. No one should have to go to therapy to process 1) the trauma that comes along with PANS, and 2) the shock of going misdiagnosed for so long. No one should have to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket to regain their health after it was the medical field that missed the bigger picture.  No one should be treated as though they are crazy by certain doctors who have not been trained in or educated themselves on tick borne illnesses (as well as PANS, molecular mimicry, etc), because it’s often a complicated and “controversial” topic.

As passionate as I am about this, I am also realizing there are emotional, spiritual, & mental components to work through as well. I could also write a whole blog post (or book, truthfully) just on those aspects alone. I am learning that I can’t expect to heal while holding onto anger and resentment towards all those who couldn’t help me more when I was a kid, or even this past year. I am also learning to be patient with myself as I process the aftershocks, all the emotions that come with it, and some of the painful memories.

It was only when I came to a place of deep acceptance, that I achieved a sense of peace.

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Can Anaplasmosis Cause Heart Issues?



The number of cases of human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA) is rising in the United States, with more than a three-fold increase over the past several years. The tick-borne illness is not often associated with conduction problems and myocardial disease. But a new study highlights a case in which anaplasmosis triggered mycopericarditis.

In their article, “Case report: human granulocytic anaplasmosis causes acute myopericarditis with atrial fibrillation,” Levy et al. describe the case of a 65-year-old man who presented to the emergency room with fever and malaise, which had persisted for one week.¹ An electrocardiogram showed new atrial fibrillation and conduction abnormalities.

The man resides in a suburb of Boston in a home surrounded by wooded areas. “He reported being outdoors regularly for kayaking trips in the few months prior to presentation,” the authors wrote.

“Anaplasma serologies were positive for IgM and negative for IgG, and subsequent PCR detected anaplasma phagocytophilum DNA,” the author wrote. “CMR imaging revealed findings consistent with myopericarditis.”

According to the authors, the man had “an isolated HGA infection, and cardiac workup showed evidence of myopericarditis as well as conduction system disease.”

Conduction and rhythm abnormalities are frequently associated with Lyme disease but have not been previously reported with [anaplasmosis] HGA.

“This case highlights that conduction and rhythm disturbance can be a feature of myocarditis in the setting of isolated [anaplasmosis] HGA infection,” the authors wrote.

“In our patient HGA was the sole identifiable culprit,” the authors point out. “This is an uncommon finding; isolated HGA myocarditis or myopericarditis has been reported only once previously.”

The authors conclude:

  • “myopericarditis and serious haemodynamic compromise are potential severe complications of HGA infection, without the need for a concomitant Lyme infection.
  • “anaplasma phagocytophilum infection, in the absence of any concomitant Lyme disease, can cause acute myopericarditis”
  • “HGA myopericarditis can present with electrical disturbances including atrial fibrillation and conduction system disease.”

It is important to include anaplasmosis in patients presenting with clinical symptoms consistent with myopericarditis and continuing doxycycline treatment until both Lyme disease and HGA are ruled out, the authors explained. This is particularly relevant to those patients living in endemic regions who present with symptoms during the late Spring through early Fall.

  1. Levy AM, Martin LM, Krakower DS, Grandin EW. Case report: human granulocytic anaplasmosis causes acute myopericarditis with atrial fibrillation. Eur Heart J Case Rep. 2023 Jan 17;7(1):ytad026. doi: 10.1093/ehjcr/ytad026. PMID: 36727140; PMCID: PMC9883714.



It’s important to remember the distinction between rarely reported and rarely occurring.  Big diff.

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