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rabbit haemorrhagic disease

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rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 22 June 2017
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Animal Disease
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • rabbit haemorrhagic disease
  • Overview
  • Rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) is a highly contagious and acute fatal hepatitis of wild and domestic European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), caused by a calicivirus, rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV)...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
VHD-infected rabbit with terminal serosanguinous nasal discharge.
TitleExternal symptoms
CaptionVHD-infected rabbit with terminal serosanguinous nasal discharge.
Copyright©USDA-2002/Foreign Animal Diseases Training Set/USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
VHD-infected rabbit with terminal serosanguinous nasal discharge.
External symptomsVHD-infected rabbit with terminal serosanguinous nasal discharge.©USDA-2002/Foreign Animal Diseases Training Set/USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
Liver from a VHD-infected rabbit. Note the diffuse fine reticular pattern of hepatic necrosis.
TitlePathology
CaptionLiver from a VHD-infected rabbit. Note the diffuse fine reticular pattern of hepatic necrosis.
Copyright©USDA-2002/Foreign Animal Diseases Training Set/USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
Liver from a VHD-infected rabbit. Note the diffuse fine reticular pattern of hepatic necrosis.
PathologyLiver from a VHD-infected rabbit. Note the diffuse fine reticular pattern of hepatic necrosis.©USDA-2002/Foreign Animal Diseases Training Set/USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
Lungs from a VHD-infected rabbit. The lungs are oedematous, congested, and have multiple haemorrhages.
TitlePathology
CaptionLungs from a VHD-infected rabbit. The lungs are oedematous, congested, and have multiple haemorrhages.
Copyright©USDA-2002/Foreign Animal Diseases Training Set/USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
Lungs from a VHD-infected rabbit. The lungs are oedematous, congested, and have multiple haemorrhages.
PathologyLungs from a VHD-infected rabbit. The lungs are oedematous, congested, and have multiple haemorrhages.©USDA-2002/Foreign Animal Diseases Training Set/USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Overview

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Rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) is a highly contagious and acute fatal hepatitis of wild and domestic European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), caused by a calicivirus, rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) (reviewed by Abrantes et al., 2012).

RHD was first noticed in China in 1984 within a group of commercially-bred Angora rabbits imported from Germany (Liu et al., 1984). In less than a year, RHD killed 140 million domestic rabbits in China (Liu et al., 1984; Xu, 1991). The virus rapidly spread worldwide and is now endemic in many parts of the world where European rabbits live naturally or are domesticated.

RHD causes important economic losses in the rabbit meat and fur industry and has a significant negative ecological impact among wild rabbit populations and indirectly on its dependant predators (Mitro and Krauss, 1993; Abrantes et al., 2012).

In Australia and New Zealand where rabbits are pests, RHDV was purposely introduced for rabbit biocontrol (Cooke and Fenner, 2002).

Up to 2010, all RHDV isolated belonged to one of six identified genotypes (GI–GVI), among which the GVI is an antigenic subtype (RHDVa). In 2010, an additional RHDV was identified in France; the virus is phylogenetically and antigenically distinct from “classical RHDV” and provisionally called RHDV2 or RHDVb (Le Gall-Reculé et al., 2011). RHDV2 results in atypical RHD outbreaks, with mortality in both vaccinated adult rabbits (Le Gall-Reculé et al., 2011) and rabbits younger than two months (Dalton et al., 2012, 2014) that are typically resistant to RHDV. RHDV2 has spread in Europe, and was also found in Australia in 2015 (Hall et al., 2015).

Rabbit haemorrhagic disease is on the list of diseases notifiable to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). The distribution section contains data from OIE's WAHID database on disease occurrence. For more information, see the website: www.oie.int

Hosts/Species Affected

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“Classical” RHDV and RHDVa only cause disease in the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). RHDV2 is able to cause an RHD-like disease in two hare species: Cape hare (Lepus capensis mediterraneus) (Puggioni et al., 2013) and Italian hare (Lepus corsicanus) (Camarda et al., 2014).

Distribution

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Classical RHDV, including genogroups G1-G5, first recorded in China in 1984 (Liu et al., 1984) has been reported in Asia, Africa, Americas, Europe and Oceania and is endemic in most parts of the world where European rabbits live naturally or are domesticated. Subtype RHDVa/G6 identified in Europe in 1996 (Capucci et al., 1998; Schirrmeier et al., 1999) has been reported in Oceania, Asia and Americas. A “new” RHDV (provisionally called RHDV2 or RHDVb) emerged in France in 2010 in wild and farmed vaccinated rabbits (Dalton et al., 2012; Le Gall-Reculé et al., 2013) then spread in Europe, and was reported in Australia in 2015 (Hall et al., 2015).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

AfghanistanNo information availableOIE, 2009
ArmeniaNo information availableOIE, 2009
AzerbaijanDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
BahrainDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
BangladeshDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
BhutanNo information availableOIE, 2009
Brunei DarussalamDisease not reportedOIE Handistatus, 2005
CambodiaNo information availableOIE, 2009
ChinaRestricted distributionOIE, 2009
-Hong KongNo information availableOIE, 2009
Georgia (Republic of)Disease never reportedOIE Handistatus, 2005
IndiaDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
IndonesiaNo information availableOIE, 2009
IranDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
IraqNo information availableOIE, 2009
IsraelDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
JapanDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
JordanNo information availableOIE, 2009
KazakhstanDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
Korea, DPRReported present or known to be presentOIE Handistatus, 2005
Korea, Republic ofNo information availableOIE, 2009
KuwaitDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
KyrgyzstanDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
LaosDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
LebanonDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
MalaysiaDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
-Peninsular MalaysiaDisease never reportedOIE Handistatus, 2005
-SabahDisease never reportedOIE Handistatus, 2005
-SarawakDisease never reportedOIE Handistatus, 2005
MongoliaNo information availableOIE, 2009
MyanmarNo information availableOIE, 2009
NepalNo information availableOIE, 2009
OmanNo information availableOIE, 2009
PakistanNo information availableOIE, 2009
PhilippinesNo information availableOIE, 2009
QatarNo information availableOIE, 2009
Saudi ArabiaAbsent, reported but not confirmedOIE, 2009
SingaporeDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
Sri LankaDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
SyriaNo information availableOIE, 2009
TaiwanLast reported2002OIE Handistatus, 2005
TajikistanDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
ThailandDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
TurkeyNo information availableOIE, 2009
TurkmenistanDisease not reportedOIE Handistatus, 2005
United Arab EmiratesNo information availableOIE, 2009
UzbekistanDisease not reportedOIE Handistatus, 2005
VietnamDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
YemenNo information availableOIE, 2009

Africa

AlgeriaDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
AngolaNo information availableOIE, 2009
BeninNo information availableOIE, 2009
BotswanaDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
Burkina FasoNo information availableOIE, 2009
BurundiNo information availableOIE Handistatus, 2005
CameroonNo information availableOIE Handistatus, 2005
Cape VerdeReported present or known to be presentOIE Handistatus, 2005
Central African RepublicDisease not reportedOIE Handistatus, 2005
ChadNo information availableOIE, 2009
CongoNo information availableOIE, 2009
Congo Democratic RepublicDisease not reportedOIE Handistatus, 2005
Côte d'IvoireDisease never reportedOIE Handistatus, 2005
DjiboutiDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
EgyptPresentOIE, 2009
EritreaNo information availableOIE, 2009
EthiopiaNo information availableOIE, 2009
GabonNo information availableOIE, 2009
GambiaNo information availableOIE, 2009
GhanaNo information availableOIE, 2009
GuineaNo information availableOIE, 2009
Guinea-BissauNo information availableOIE, 2009
KenyaDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
LesothoDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
LibyaLast reported1999OIE Handistatus, 2005
MadagascarDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
MalawiNo information availableOIE, 2009
MaliNo information availableOIE, 2009
MauritiusDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
MoroccoNo information availableOIE, 2009
MozambiqueDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
NamibiaNo information availableOIE, 2009
NigeriaNo information availableOIE, 2009
RéunionNo information availableOIE Handistatus, 2005
RwandaNo information availableOIE, 2009
Sao Tome and PrincipeDisease not reportedOIE Handistatus, 2005
SenegalNo information availableOIE, 2009
SeychellesDisease not reportedOIE Handistatus, 2005
SomaliaNo information availableOIE Handistatus, 2005
South AfricaDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
SudanDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
SwazilandNo information availableOIE, 2009
TanzaniaNo information availableOIE, 2009
TogoNo information availableOIE, 2009
TunisiaPresentOIE, 2009
UgandaNo information availableOIE, 2009
ZambiaNo information availableOIE, 2009
ZimbabweDisease never reportedOIE, 2009

North America

BermudaDisease not reportedOIE Handistatus, 2005
CanadaDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
GreenlandDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
MexicoDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
USADisease not reportedOIE, 2009

Central America and Caribbean

BarbadosDisease never reportedOIE Handistatus, 2005
BelizeDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
British Virgin IslandsDisease never reportedOIE Handistatus, 2005
Cayman IslandsDisease never reportedOIE Handistatus, 2005
Costa RicaDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
CubaDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
CuraçaoDisease not reportedOIE Handistatus, 2005
DominicaDisease not reportedOIE Handistatus, 2005
Dominican RepublicDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
El SalvadorDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
GuadeloupeNo information availableOIE, 2009
GuatemalaDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
HaitiDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
HondurasNo information availableOIE, 2009
JamaicaNo information availableOIE, 2009
MartiniqueNo information availableOIE, 2009
NicaraguaDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
PanamaNo information availableOIE, 2009
Saint Kitts and NevisDisease never reportedOIE Handistatus, 2005
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesDisease never reportedOIE Handistatus, 2005
Trinidad and TobagoDisease never reportedOIE Handistatus, 2005

South America

ArgentinaDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
BoliviaDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
BrazilDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
ChileDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
ColombiaDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
EcuadorDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
Falkland IslandsDisease never reportedOIE Handistatus, 2005
French GuianaDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
GuyanaDisease never reportedOIE Handistatus, 2005
ParaguayDisease never reportedOIE Handistatus, 2005
PeruDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
UruguayDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
VenezuelaDisease never reportedOIE, 2009

Europe

AlbaniaNo information availableOIE, 2009
AndorraReported present or known to be presentOIE Handistatus, 2005
AustriaNo information availableOIE, 2009
BelarusDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
BelgiumDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
Bosnia-HercegovinaDisease not reportedOIE Handistatus, 2005
BulgariaDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
CroatiaDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
CyprusPresentOIE, 2009
Czech RepublicPresentOIE, 2009
DenmarkDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
EstoniaDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
FinlandDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
FrancePresentGall-Reculé et al., 2011
GermanyDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
GreeceDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
HungaryRestricted distributionOIE, 2009
IcelandDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
IrelandNo information availableOIE, 2009
Isle of Man (UK)Last reported1996OIE Handistatus, 2005
ItalyPresentOIE, 2009
JerseyReported present or known to be presentOIE Handistatus, 2005
LatviaDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
LiechtensteinDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
LithuaniaDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
LuxembourgPresentOIE, 2009
MacedoniaNo information availableOIE, 2009
MaltaDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
MoldovaOIE Handistatus, 2005
MontenegroDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
NetherlandsPresentIjzer et al., 2016
NorwayDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
PolandDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
PortugalPresentOIE, 2009
RomaniaDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
Russian FederationRestricted distributionOIE, 2009
SerbiaDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
SlovakiaDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
SloveniaDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
SpainRestricted distributionOIE, 2009
SwedenPresentOIE, 2009
SwitzerlandPresentOIE, 2009
UKPresentWestcott and Choudhury, 2015
UkraineDisease not reportedOIE, 2009
Yugoslavia (former)No information availableOIE Handistatus, 2005
Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)No information availableOIE Handistatus, 2005

Oceania

AustraliaPresentOIE, 2009
French PolynesiaDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
New CaledoniaDisease never reportedOIE, 2009
New ZealandPresentOIE, 2009
SamoaDisease never reportedOIE Handistatus, 2005
VanuatuDisease never reportedOIE Handistatus, 2005
Wallis and Futuna IslandsNo information availableOIE Handistatus, 2005

Pathology

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The liver, lung and spleen are the primary target tissues of RHDV. The major histopathological lesions are acute hepatitis and splenomegaly (Park et al., 1995; Alonso et al., 1998). Haemorrhages and congestions can be seen in several organs, particularly in the lungs, heart and kidneys, as a result of a massive disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) which is usually the cause of death (Ueda et al., 1992).

Disease Course

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(From: OIE Manual of Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines for Terrestrial Animals, 2016)

RHD is characterised by high morbidity and a mortality of 70–90% for RHDV/RHDVa and 5-70% for RHDV2. Infection mainly occurs by the oral route. In wild rabbits in particular, insects are considered an important route of infection or transmission, and are often the source of long-distance spread. The incubation period of RHD varies from 1 to 3 days, and death usually occurs 12-36 hours after the onset of fever. The main clinical manifestations of the acute infection are nervous and respiratory signs, apathy and anorexia. In rabbits younger than 4-6 weeks, the RHDV/RHDVa infection course is subclinical, but when the causative agent is RHDV2, clinical signs and mortality are observed even in young animals from 15 to 20 days of age onwards.

References

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Abrantes J; Loo Wvan der; Pendu Jle; Esteves PJ, 2012. Rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) and rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV): a review. Veterinary Research, 43(12):(10 February 2012). http://www.veterinaryresearch.org/content/pdf/1297-9716-43-12.pdf

Alonso C; Oviedo JM; Martín-Alonso JM; Díaz E; Boga JA; Parra F, 1998. Programmed cell death in the pathogenesis of rabbit hemorrhagic disease. Archives of Virology, 143(2):321-332.

Boucher S, 2015. Rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV2): epidemiology, clinical aspects, lesions and prevention. (La maladie hémorragique virale à RHVD2 chez le lapin: épidémiologie, clinique, lésions et préventions.) Le Nouveau Praticien Vétérinaire Élevages et Santé, No.31:55-60. http://neva.fr/

Calvete C; Estrada R; Lucientes J; Osacar JJ; Villafuerte R, 2004. Effects of vaccination against viral haemorrhagic disease and myxomatosis on long-term mortality rates of European wild rabbits. Veterinary Record, 155(13):388-392.

Camarda A; Pugliese N; Cavadini P; Circella E; Capucci L; Caroli A; Legretto M; Mallia E; Lavazza A, 2014. Detection of the new emerging rabbit haemorrhagic disease type 2 virus (RHDV2) in Sicily from rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and Italian hare (Lepus corsicanus). Research in Veterinary Science, 97(3):642-645. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00345288

Capucci L; Fallacara F; Grazioli S; Lavazza A; Pacciarini ML; Brocchi E, 1998. A further step in the evolution of rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus: the appearance of the first consistent antigenic variant. Virus Research, 58(1/2):115-126.

Cooke BD; Fenner F, 2002. Rabbit haemorrhagic disease and the biological control of wild rabbits, Oryctolagus cuniculus, in Australia and New Zealand. Wildlife Research, 29(6):689-706.

Dalton KP; Nicieza I; Abrantes J; Esteves PJ; Parra F, 2014. Spread of new variant RHDV in domestic rabbits on the Iberian Peninsula. Veterinary Microbiology, 169(1/2):67-73. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/03781135

Dalton KP; Nicieza I; Balseiro A; Muguerza MA; Rosell JM; Casais R; Álvarez ÁL; Parra F, 2012. Variant rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus in young rabbits, Spain. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 18(12):2009-2012. http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/18/12/pdfs/12-0341.pdf

Gall-Reculé Gle; Lavazza A; Marchandeau S; Bertagnoli S; Zwingelstein F; Cavadini P; Martinelli N; Lombardi G; Guérin JL; Lemaitre E; Decors A; Boucher S; Normand Ble; Capucci L, 2013. Emergence of a new lagovirus related to rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus. Veterinary Research, 44(81):(8 September 2013). http://www.veterinaryresearch.org/content/44/1/81/abstract

Gall-Reculé Gle; Zwingelstein F; Boucher S; Normand Ble; Plassiart G; Portejoie Y; Decors A; Bertagnoli S; Guérin JL; Marchandeau S, 2011. . http://veterinaryrecord.bvapublications.com/archive/

Hall RN; Mahar JE; Haboury S; Stevens V; Holmes EC; Strive T, 2015. . http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/21/12/pdfs/15-1210.pdf

Huang HB, 1991. Vaccination against and immune response to viral haemorrhagic disease of rabbits: a review of research in the People's Republic of China. Revue Scientifique et Technique - Office International des Épizooties, 10(2):481-498.

Ijzer J; Zeeland YRAvan; Montizaan MGE; Egberink HF; König P; Geijlswijk IMvan, 2016. Introduction of a new virus type in the Netherlands in 2015. Rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus 2 (RHDV2): [outbreak] amongst the rabbits. (Introductie van een nieuw type virus in Nederland in 2015. Rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus 2 (RHDV2): bij de konijnen af.) Tijdschrift voor Diergeneeskunde, 141(3):24-29. http://www.knmvd.nl

Liu SJ; Xue HP; Pu BQ; Qian NH, 1984. A new viral disease in rabbits. Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medicine (Xumu yu Shouyi), 16(6):253-255.

Mitro S; Krauss H, 1993. Rabbit hemorrhagic disease: a review with special reference to its epizootiology. European Journal of Epidemiology, 9(1):70-78.

OIE Handistatus, 2002. World Animal Health Publication and Handistatus II (dataset for 2001). Paris, France: Office International des Epizooties.

OIE Handistatus, 2003. World Animal Health Publication and Handistatus II (dataset for 2002). Paris, France: Office International des Epizooties.

OIE Handistatus, 2004. World Animal Health Publication and Handistatus II (data set for 2003). Paris, France: Office International des Epizooties.

OIE Handistatus, 2005. World Animal Health Publication and Handistatus II (data set for 2004). Paris, France: Office International des Epizooties.

OIE, 2009. World Animal Health Information Database - Version: 1.4. World Animal Health Information Database. Paris, France: World Organisation for Animal Health. http://www.oie.int

Park JH; Lee YongSoon; Itakura C, 1995. Pathogenesis of acute necrotic hepatitis in rabbit hemorrhagic disease. Laboratory Animal Science, 45(4):445-449.

Puggioni G; Cavadini P; Maestrale C; Scivoli R; Botti G; Ligios C; Gall-Reculé Gle; Lavazza A; Capucci L, 2013. The new French 2010 Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus causes an RHD-like disease in the Sardinian Cape hare (Lepus capensis mediterraneus). Veterinary Research, 44(96):(7 October 2013). http://www.veterinaryresearch.org/content/pdf/1297-9716-44-96.pdf

Schirrmeier H; Reimann I; Köllner B; Granzow H, 1999. Pathogenic, antigenic and molecular properties of rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) isolated from vaccinated rabbits: detection and characterization of antigenic variants. Archives of Virology, 144(4):719-735.

Smíd B; Valícek L; Rodák L; Stepánek J; Jurák E, 1991. Rabbit haemorrhagic disease: an investigation of some properties of the virus and evaluation of an inactivated vaccine. Veterinary Microbiology, 26(1/2):77-85.

Ueda K; Park JH; Ochiai K; Itakura C, 1992. Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) in rabbit haemorrhagic disease. Japanese Journal of Veterinary Research, 40(4):133-141.

Westcott DG; Choudhury B, 2015. Rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus-2-like variant in Great Britain. Veterinary Record, 176(3):74. http://veterinaryrecord.bvapublications.com/archive/

Xu WY, 1991. Viral haemorrhagic disease of rabbits in the People's Republic of China: epidemiology and virus characterisation. Revue Scientifique et Technique - Office International des Épizooties, 10(2):393-408.

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