Type: Book

Optimising pig herd health and production


Dr Dominiek Maes is Professor or Porcine Health Management in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Ghent University, Belgium. Professor Maes is a former Editor-in-Chief of the journal Porcine Health Management. He is past-President of the European College of Porcine Health Management (ECPHM) and the European Board of Veterinary Specialization (EBVS). Professor Maes has written over 300 articles and is internationally-renowned for his research in such areas as respiratory diseases of pigs. Dr Joaquim Segalés is Professor in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Director of the Centre de Recerca en Sanitat Animal (CReSA) at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). He is a current Editor-in-Chief of Porcine Health Management. Professor Segalés is also a former President of the ECPHM. He has written over 250 articles and has an international reputation for his research on viral diseases of pigs.



Publication date:

Q2 2022

Length of book:

400 pages

ISBN-13: 9781786768834

Hardback - £150.00
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Whilst it can mean enhanced biosecurity, more intensive and globalised pig production (based on a narrowing genetic base) also potentially increases the risk of disease and its spread. It has been estimated that production diseases can lower pig production efficiency by 10-15%, though financial losses can be much greater. The sector must allocate more resources to the creation and development of preventative measures that can be used to tackle the threat of disease.

Optimising pig herd health and production provides a comprehensive review of the wealth of research on optimising pig health to prevent the development and consequent spread of diseases that can devastate the industry, such as African Swine Fever (ASF) and Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS). Chapters in this volume consider the methods used to prevent disease outbreaks, ranging from on-farm strategies, such as managing feed, housing and stocking density to optimise health, to the development and use of vaccines.

Key features

  • Summarises the wealth of research on optimising pig herd health for increased protection against major diseases, including ASF and PRRS
  • Reviews recent advances in understanding gut function and immunity in pigs, including the development of nutritional strategies to boost immune function and resistance to disease 
  • Explores key challenges facing pig production, including breeding disease resistant pigs with a narrowing genetic base and the development of fungicide resistance

Table of contents

Part 1 Understanding and identifying disease
1.Advances in understanding mechanisms of porcine viral disease transmission/epidemiology: Joaquim Segales, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain;
2.Advances in understanding mechanisms of porcine bacterial disease transmission/epidemiology: Dominiek Maes, Ghent University, Belgium;
3.Improving disease surveillance/monitoring systems in pig herds: Alex Ramirez, Iowa State University, USA;
4.Advanced techniques to monitor pig health and identify disease: Jeffrey J. Zimmerman, Iowa State University, USA;

Part 2 Understanding immunity and disease resistance
5.Advances in understanding the development of immune function in pigs: Lorenzo Fraile, University of Lleida, Spain;
6.Advances in understanding gut function and immunity in pigs: Bert Devriendt, Ghent University, Belgium;
7.Nutritional strategies to boost immune function in pigs: Glen Almond, North Carolina State University, USA;
8.Understanding mechanisms of resistance to respiratory disease in pigs: Bob Rowland, Kansas State University, USA;

Part 3 Disease prevention
9.On-farm strategies for preventing pig diseases: improving biosecurity: Jeroen Dewulf, Ghent University, Belgium;
10.Managing feed to optimise pig health: Sam Millet, Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (IVLO), Belgium;
11.Managing housing and stocking density to prevent disease in pig herds: Isabel Hennig-Pauka, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Germany;
12.Advances in the development and use of vaccines for prevention of endemic diseases in pigs: Enric Mateu, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain;
13.Advances in developing vaccines for emerging diseases in pigs: Francisco Javier Martinez Lobo, University of Lleida, Spain;

Part 4 Optimising health through the life cycle
14.Optimising the health of gilts and pregnant sows: Olli Peltoniemi, University of Helsinki, Finland;
15.Optimising the health of weaned piglets: Andrea Luppi, IZSLER, Italy;
16.Optimising the health of finisher pigs: Ilias Kyriazakis, University of Newcastle, UK;