Common Diseases That Affect Fish Farm

15 Common Diseases That Affect Fish Farm And How To Treat

Fish farming is an important part of aquaculture, providing a sustainable source of delicious seafood. However, having a large number of fish living in close proximity can create a number of health issues, including some common diseases.

In this article, we will discuss the 15 most common diseases that affect fish farms such as Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis, Pseudomonas, Costia, Sapolegnia, Argulus, infectious spleen, and kidney disease, among others.

By understanding these diseases you will know what signs to look out for and how to treat them. Also, you can take the necessary steps to prevent them, so that you can ensure your fish farm remains healthy and productive.

15 Common Diseases that affect Fish Farm and How to Treat

Fishes are prone to numerous diseases among which we have compiled the 15 common diseases that affect fish farms including how you can treat them below.

#1. Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis

Category: Viral Disease

Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis (IPN) is a viral disease caused by the Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis Virus (IPNV). It affects both freshwater and saltwater fish and can cause significant economic losses in fish farms.

Causes

IPNV is spread through the movement of fish, especially through the transportation of fish eggs. The virus is highly resistant to environmental conditions and can survive for long periods of time in water, mud, and fish eggs.

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Symptoms

Symptoms of IPN include the loss of appetite, lethargy, pale gills, and swollen or discolored eyes. In more severe cases, the fish may experience ulcers on their skin, enlarged livers, and internal bleeding.

Treatment

Treatment for IPN depends on the severity of the infection. For mild cases, increasing the oxygen levels in the water and improving water quality can often be enough to recover the fish.

For more severe cases, medication such as Levamisole or Oxytetracycline can be used to suppress the virus.

More so, herbal treatments such as garlic extract, oregano oil, and ginger root can be used to improve the fish’s immune system.

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Prevention

To prevent the spread of IPN, good biosecurity practices should be followed. This includes regularly disinfecting tanks, equipment, and nets, as well as using separate tanks for healthy and sick fish.

Also, fish should only be transported in clean water and eggs should not be moved between farms.

Control

To control IPN, it is important to monitor the health of fishes closely and identify any signs of infection as soon as possible.

If an infection is identified, the infected fish should be quarantined and the water quality of the fish tank should be monitored closely.

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Likewise, if the infection is widespread, all fish should be treated with medication or herbal treatments.

#2. Pseudomonas

Category: Bacterial Disease

Pseudomonas is a genus of bacterium that can cause a range of diseases in fish farms, including furunculosis and fin rot.

Causes

Pseudomonas infections in fish farms are caused by the presence of the Pseudomonas bacteria in the water.

This bacterium can be spread from fish to fish due to overcrowding, poor water conditions and inadequate filtration.

It can also be spread through contact with contaminated equipment, food, or other materials.

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Symptoms

The fish infected with Pseudomonas may display symptoms such as bloating, lethargy, ulcers, and discoloration of the skin.

There may also be a foul odor coming from the fish.

Treatment

Treatment of Pseudomonas in fish farms may involve a range of medications and herbal remedies.

The most common medications used are antibiotics, such as chloramphenicol, kanamycin, and amikacin.

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Herbal remedies, such as garlic and echinacea, can also be used to help reduce the symptoms of Pseudomonas infections.

Prevention

To prevent the spread of Pseudomonas infections in fish farms, it is important to maintain proper water quality and to keep overcrowding to a minimum. Furthermore, it is important to disinfect equipment and materials regularly and to avoid introducing fish from outside sources.

Control

To control the spread of Pseudomonas in fish farms, it is important to monitor the water quality, to remove infected fish, and to clean and disinfect the tanks regularly.

Likewise, it is important to ensure that the fish are properly fed and to provide adequate filtration.

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#3. Costia

Category: Protozoan Disease

Costia is a genus of small, single-celled parasites that can cause severe health problems in aquaculture fish farms.

Costia can infect fish through biological vectors or contact with infected water, and can cause secondary infections of other diseases, resulting in decreased production, reduced growth rates, and even mortality.

Causes

Costia is a genus of single-celled protozoan parasites that can infect a wide range of freshwater fish species. Costia can be found in a variety of environments, including fish farms, natural water habitats, and aquariums.

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The most common cause of Costia infestation in fish farms is poor water quality due to overcrowding, inadequate filtration, or the presence of other sources of contamination.

Symptoms

Signs of Costia infection in fish include loss of appetite, lethargy, pale gills, patches of white or grey slime on the body, discoloration of the fins and eyes, and difficulty swimming. In severe cases, the fish may become covered in a thick white or grey slime.

Treatment

Treatment for Costia infestations in fish farms should be tailored to the specific needs of the affected fish. Medication such as copper sulfate, formalin, and malachite green can be used to treat

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Costia infestations. Additionally, herbal treatments such as garlic, tea tree oil, or neem oil can be used to help control and prevent Costia infestations.

Prevention and Control

Costia infestations in fish farms can be prevented and controlled by maintaining good water quality, performing regular water changes, and using properly sized filtration systems.

In addition, reducing overcrowding, limiting the introduction of new fish, and ensuring good sanitation practices can help to reduce the risk of Costia infestation.

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#4. Saprolegnia

Category: Fungal Disease

Saprolegnia disease is a common waterborne fungal infection of farmed fish. It is caused by the fungus Saprolegnia parasitica, which is found naturally in aquatic environments.

The fungus can enter fish farms through infected water sources, such as rivers, lakes, and ponds. It can also be spread through contact with infected fish, water, or equipment, or through the introduction of contaminated eggs.

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Causes

Saprolegnia disease is caused by a fungus-like organism called Saprolegnia that is found in water. The disease can occur when water temperatures exceed 24 degrees Celsius, when the water has a high level of organic matter, when oxygen levels are low, or when fish are stressed due to overcrowding.

Symptoms

Symptoms of Saprolegnia disease include lesions or white spots on the fish, which can eventually lead to ulcers and excess mucus on the skin. The fish may also become lethargic and have difficulty swimming.

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Treatment

Treatment of Saprolegnia disease includes the use of antibiotics and antifungal medications such as enrofloxacin, flumequine, and chloramphenicol. Herbal treatments such as garlic extract and tea tree oil may also be used.

Prevention

One way to prevent the spread of Saprolegnia disease is to maintain good water quality. This includes regular water changes and filtration, as well as monitoring water temperature and oxygen levels. Stocking levels should also be monitored to ensure that fish are not overcrowded.

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Control

If Saprolegnia disease is present in a fish farm, it can be controlled by removing infected fish, disinfecting the tank, and treating the water with antibiotics or antifungal medications. It is also important to ensure good water quality and to reduce stocking levels if necessary.

#5. Argulus

Category: Parasitic Diseases

Argulus disease, also known as fish lice, is a common parasite found in fish farms. It is caused by a small crustacean, Argulus foliaceus, which attaches itself to the host fish and feeds on its blood.

Causes

Argulus disease is caused by the Argulus foliaceus, a small parasite that attaches itself to the host fish and feeds on its blood.

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Symptoms

Infected fish will have white spots on their body, and the infected skin may become discolored. Additionally, the fish may experience decreased appetite, erratic swimming, or even death.

Treatment

Treatment of Argulus disease includes both medication and herbal remedies. Medication includes the use of antibiotics, such as oxytetracycline, to combat the infection.

Herbal remedies include the use of garlic, tea tree oil, or neem oil, which can be added to the water to help kill the parasites.

Prevention and Control

The best way to prevent Argulus disease is to inspect any new fish for signs of infection before introducing them to a fish farm.

Additionally, good hygiene practices such as proper water filtration and regular water changes can help to prevent the spread of Argulus disease.

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#6. Infectious Spleen And Kidney Necrosis

Category: Viral Disease

Infectious Spleen And Kidney Necrosis (ISKND) is a serious bacterial disease of farmed fish that affects the spleen, kidney and other organs, causing mortality and economic losses in aquaculture.

Causes

ISKND is caused by a Gram-negative bacterium, Aeromonas salmonicida. The bacteria are spread through water, feed and contact with infected fish or equipment.

Symptoms

The most common symptom of ISKND is pale or white gills, followed by lethargy, loss of appetite, and discoloration of the fins, eyes and body. In advanced cases, fish may exhibit abdominal swelling, ulceration of the skin and exophthalmia (bulging eyes).

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Treatment

Antibiotics such as oxytetracycline, kanamycin, and ampicillin are commonly used to treat ISKND. Generally, these antibiotics should be administered in combination rather than alone, as this will increase the chances of success.

Herbs such as garlic, ginger, and turmeric have also been used to treat ISKND. These herbs are believed to have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce the symptoms of ISKND.

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Prevention and Control

Prevention and control measures for ISKND include proper sanitation and hygiene of the fish farm, regular water quality testing, and maintaining a healthy fish population.

Fish should be kept in tanks or ponds with good water flow and circulation, as this can help reduce the risk of infection. Vaccines are also available for ISKND, though the efficacy of these vaccines is still unclear.

#7. Trichodina

Category: Protozoan Disease

Trichodina disease is a type of parasite that affects fish in fish farms. It is caused by a protozoan parasite that attaches to the skin, gills, and fins of the fish, causing irritation and stress to the fish.

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Causes

Overcrowding in fish tanks and poor water quality can lead to an outbreak of Trichodina disease.

Symptoms

Fish infected with Trichodina disease may show signs of rapid breathing, loss of appetite, lethargy, excessive mucus production, white spots or patches on their body, and a lack of coordination when swimming.

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Treatment

Treatment for Trichodina disease includes the use of medications such as formalin, malachite green, or potassium permanganate.

These medications can be given either in the form of a bath or as a dip. Herbal treatments such as garlic, ginger, and fenugreek can also be used to treat Trichodina disease.

Prevention and Control

Prevention and control of Trichodina disease in fish farms can be achieved by maintaining good water quality, providing enough space for the fish to swim, and regularly monitoring the health of the fish.

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More so, quarantining new fish before they are introduced to the tank can help prevent the spread of the disease.

#8. Columnaris

Category: Bacterial Disease

Columnaris disease is a bacterial infection of fish farms that can cause significant losses in production. It is caused by the bacteria Flavobacterium columnare, which is found in both fresh and saltwater. The bacteria can be spread through water, food, and contact with infected fish.

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Causes

Columnaris disease is caused by the bacteria Flavobacterium columnare, which is found in both fresh and saltwater.

Symptoms

Common symptoms of Columnaris disease include lesions on the skin, fins, and mouth, along with abnormal swimming behavior, loss of appetite, and weight loss.

Treatment

Treatment for Columnaris disease includes both medications and herbal remedies. Medications such as oxytetracycline and sulfadimethoxine can be used to treat the infection.

Herbal remedies, such as garlic extract and neem oil, can also be used to help prevent and treat the infection.

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Prevention

To prevent the spread of Columnaris disease, good water quality and hygiene should be maintained in fish farms. Additionally, all new fish should be quarantined before being introduced into the farm and any sick fish should be removed and treated immediately.

Control

To control the spread of Columnaris disease in fish farms, strict biosecurity measures should be implemented. This includes the use of disinfectants, proper storage of feed, and regular testing of the water.

Regular monitoring of the fish should be done to identify any signs of infection early on.

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#9. Vibrio

Category: Bacterial Disease

Vibrio disease is a type of bacterial infection that affects fish populations in both fresh and saltwater aquaculture farms. It is caused by the Vibrio bacteria, which is found naturally in warm and coastal ocean waters.

Causes

Vibrio bacteria can enter fish farms through open wounds, contaminated water, and even from other fish that are already infected. It can also be spread from fish to fish via contact.

Symptoms

Symptoms of Vibrio disease include lethargy, loss of appetite, pale gills, red streaks on the body, and open sores. In severe cases, the fish may die from the infection.

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Treatment

Treatment of Vibrio disease in fish farms usually involves the use of antibiotics and other medications. For example, oxytetracycline and erythromycin can be used to treat the infection.

Herbal remedies, such as garlic and goldenseal, can also be used to help reduce the symptoms and treat the infection.

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Prevention

To prevent the spread of Vibrio disease in fish farms, it is important to maintain good water quality and to keep water temperatures below 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, open wounds should be treated immediately, and sick fish should be isolated from healthy ones.

Control

In order to control Vibrio disease in fish farms, it is important to monitor water quality, test for the presence of the bacteria, and practice regular cleaning and disinfection of tanks and equipment. Also, it is important to provide adequate nutrition and to practice good fish husbandry.

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#10. Hole in the Head

Category: Skin diseases

Hole in the head disease is a common, preventable, and potentially fatal illness that affects fish in aquaculture and aquariums. It is caused by a combination of stress, poor water quality, poor nutrition, and the presence of parasitic worms.

Causes

Hole in the head is caused by a combination of stress, poor water quality, poor nutrition, and the presence of parasitic worms. These worms create lesions in the fish’s head, often leaving a visible hole in the head.

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Symptoms

Symptoms of hole in the head include lesions on the head and body, loss of color, weight loss, and loss of appetite.

Treatment

Medication and herbal treatments can be used to treat hole in the head. Medications such as metronidazole and praziquantel can be used to treat parasitic worms. Herbal treatments, such as garlic, oregano oil, and thyme oil, can also be used to treat the disease.

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Prevention

Preventing hole in the head is possible by ensuring the fish’s environment is properly maintained. This includes providing clean, oxygen-rich water, appropriate diet, and avoiding stressors.

Also, regular testing and monitoring of water parameters should be done to ensure water quality is optimal.

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Control

To control the spread of hole in the head, infected fish should be removed from the tank and treated.

In addition, proper quarantine procedures should be followed when introducing new fish to the tank to reduce the risk of introducing the disease.

Finally, regular water changes and tank cleanings should be done to reduce the risk of the disease spreading.

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#11. Achlya

Category: Fungal Disease

Achlya is a type of fungus found in fish farms. It is a member of the Mucorales order and is an opportunistic pathogen that can cause serious infections in fish.

Causes

Achlya is spread through the water, usually when fish are kept in overcrowded conditions. It can also be spread through contact with infected fish or their environment.

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Symptoms

Achlya infection can cause lesions and ulcers on the skin and fins of fish. It is often accompanied by cloudy eyes, white spots on the skin, and a milky white coating on the skin and fins.

Treatment

Treatment for Achlya infection in fish involves the removal of infected fish and the use of an antifungal medication to treat the infection. Examples of antifungal medications include fluconazole, ketoconazole and itraconazole. Herbal remedies such as garlic and tea tree oil can also be used to treat Achlya infections.

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Prevention

To prevent Achlya infection, it is important to keep fish tanks clean and to regularly monitor the water quality. Fish should also be provided with adequate space and a healthy diet to help prevent the spread of Achlya.

Control

Controlling Achlya in fish farms requires careful monitoring of water quality and the removal of infected fish. It is also important to maintain adequate water temperature and pH levels. Regular treatments with antifungal medications and herbal remedies can help control Achlya infections.

#12. Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia

Category: Viral Disease

Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) is a highly infectious fish disease caused by a rhabdovirus that affects a wide variety of fish species, including those farmed for food. VHS is most commonly found in freshwater fish farms, and can cause outbreaks of severe disease with high mortality rates.

Causes

VHS is caused by a rhabdovirus, which is a type of virus that can survive in cold water and is highly contagious. The virus can be spread from infected fish to healthy fish through the water, direct contact, or through contaminated equipment, feed, and other material.

Symptoms

Symptoms of VHS in fish can include lethargy, loss of appetite, darkening of the skin, bleeding from the gills, mouth and fins, and rapid death.

Treatment

Treatment of VHS in fish farms is limited, so the focus is on prevention and control. Medication used to treat VHS includes antibiotics, such as ampicillin, and antiviral drugs, such as acyclovir. Herbal treatments may also be used, such as garlic extract, which can reduce the severity of the disease.

Prevention

The best way to prevent VHS in fish farms is to practice good biosecurity measures, such as regularly disinfecting tanks and equipment, using clean and disease-free feed and water, and avoiding contact with wild fish.

Control

VHS can be controlled through regular monitoring and testing of fish for the virus, as well as by implementing strict biosecurity protocols. Vaccination of fish can also be used to help control the disease, as well as the use of disinfectants and medications to treat infected fish.

#13. Cryptocaryon Irritans

Category: Protozoan Disease

Cryptocaryon irritans, commonly known as marine white spot disease, is a common parasitic infection found in fish farms.

Causes

The parasites are spread through contact with infected fish, water, mud from an infected pond, or by introducing new fish to the pond/tank.

Symptoms

Symptoms of the infection include white spots on the fish’s body, fins, and even its eyes. The fish may also become lethargic and lose its appetite, and its gills may become inflamed.

Treatment

Treatment for this condition includes both medication and herbal remedies. Medication options include copper-based medications or formalin-based medications, while herbal treatments include garlic or neem oil.

Prevention

To prevent this condition, it is important to quarantine any new fish before introducing them to the pond/tank. It is also important to ensure the water is clean and well-oxygenated.

Control

To control the spread of this infection, it is important to remove any infected fish from the tank and to treat the water to eliminate any remaining parasites.

#14. Leeches

Category: Parasitic Diseases

Causes

Leeches are one of the most common parasites found in fish farms, and they can be introduced through infected water, wild fish, or animals.

Symptoms

Signs of leech infestation in a fish farm include fish with discolored or pale patches, lethargy, and reduced appetite. In severe cases, the fish may have open wounds caused by the leeches.

Treatment

Medication treatment options include formalin and copper sulfate. Herbal treatments such as garlic and neem oil have also been used to control leeches.

Prevention

To prevent leeches in fish farms, owners should regularly inspect the water for signs of parasites and ensure that the farm is properly maintained.

Control

To control leeches, owners should remove any infected fish and use a combination of chemical and herbal treatments. Regularly inspect the water and take steps to prevent re-infestation.

#15. Gill Flukes

Category: Gill diseases

Gill Flukes are a type of parasite that affects farmed fish. They are small, flat worms that attach to the gills of the fish, causing irritation and damage.

Causes

Gill Flukes are caused by a variety of parasites, including the genus Dactylogyrus. These parasites can be transferred through water, so it is important to check for them regularly in fish farms.

Symptoms

Common signs of Gill Flukes include difficulty breathing, lethargy, loss of appetite, and excessive mucus production. In more severe cases, the gills may become inflamed and discolored, and the fish may have a white film on the body.

Treatment

Treatment for Gill Flukes can involve both medication and herbal remedies. Medication can include praziquantel or flubendazole, which can be administered either orally or through a bath. Examples of herbal remedies include garlic, ginger, and neem oil.

Prevention

Prevention of Gill Flukes is important in fish farms. This can be done by regularly testing for parasites in the water, maintaining appropriate levels of oxygen in the water, and properly disinfecting any equipment used in the farm.

Control

Control of Gill Flukes can be done by reducing the number of parasites in the water, as well as removing any infected fish from the farm. Additionally, quarantining new fish can help to prevent the spread of parasites.

Common Fish Ailments

Common Fish Ailments refer to the health problems that can affect fish. Some common fish ailments include bacterial infections, parasites, fungal infections, and diseases caused by environmental stress.

Symptoms of fish ailments can include abnormal swimming behavior, loss of appetite, and changes in coloration or skin appearance.

To prevent and treat fish ailments, it is important to maintain a healthy aquarium environment and to seek veterinary care when necessary.

Common Fish Tank Diseases

Common fish tank diseases include Ich (Ichthyophthirius multifiliis), Fin Rot, Dropsy, Columnaris, and Popeye.

These diseases can be caused by poor water quality, stress, or exposure to other infected fish.

Symptoms vary but may include white spots, frayed fins, lethargy, bloating, and bulging eyes.

Treatment involves quarantine, water changes, and chemical treatments, depending on the type of disease.

Fish Farm Diseases

Fish Farm Diseases refer to illnesses that can be caused by overcrowding, poor water quality, and the introduction of pathogens into a pond or lake.

Common symptoms include fish deaths, changes in water chemistry, and reduced yields. Prevention is key, as many of these diseases can be difficult to treat and can lead to significant losses.

Proper biosecurity, water quality management, and proper stocking levels can help to prevent the spread of fish farm diseases.

Common Fish Diseases And Their Control

Fish diseases can be caused by a variety of factors such as parasites, bacteria, viruses, fungi and environmental factors.

Common fish diseases and their control include bacterial diseases like enteric septicemia, furunculosis, columnaris and vibriosis; parasitic diseases like ich and costia; and fungal diseases like saprolegniasis.

Control measures include maintaining good water quality, providing proper nutrition, avoiding overcrowding and using appropriate medications.

Fish Diseases In Aquaculture Pdf

Fish diseases in aquaculture can cause significant losses to industry. This PDF explores the important factors that should be considered in fish health management, including prevention and control strategies for disease.

It covers a range of topics, from the basics of fish pathology and diagnostics to more specific topics such as environmental factors and biosecurity.

Also, it provides practical advice on how to protect fish from disease and how to respond if disease does occur.

Conclusion

Fish farming is a valuable industry that can be greatly affected by various diseases and pathogens. It is important to know the common diseases that can affect fish farms, as well as the appropriate treatments for each, in order to ensure the health and safety of the fish and the farm. By understanding the different diseases, implementing preventative measures, and using effective treatments, fish farmers can keep their fish healthy and their operations running smoothly.

 

Author: David

David is a Kenyan farmer from the rural village of Nairobi. Growing up, he was surrounded by the beauty of the Kenyan countryside, which sparked his passion for farming. After completing his education, he decided to pursue a career in agriculture and has since dedicated his life to providing food for his local community. David is an experienced farmer and is experienced in a range of agricultural practices, including crop rotation, animal husbandry and soil management. He is passionate about promoting sustainable agriculture and is actively working to reduce food insecurity in his community.

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