Welcome to the Meet the Expert podcast, a series on swine health and management produced by Pig Progress in cooperation with Boehringer Ingelheim, where global opinion leaders answer your most relevant practical questions. Now in its fourth season, every first Monday of the month, listeners can find a new episode of Meet the Expert either on the Pig Progress website, or through any favourite podcast app. Click the buttons below to follow the entire series or just start listening.

Season 4, #5 Dr Evelien Biebaut – A deep dive into the world of M. hyo

Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae causes lung infections characterised by a low mortality, but high morbidity. this results in a higher FCR, lower daily growth, higher risk for secondary infections and increased treatment costs. Although M. hyo has been the topic of much research, its pathogenesis is still not completely clear, immune responses after infection and vaccination need to be further investigated. In this podcast, host Vincent ter Beek, editor of Pig Progress discusses the PhD stduy of Dr Evelien Biebaut, attached to Ghent University in Belgium, who spared no effort to learn more about how the bacteria behaves and how it can be controlled.

Season 4, #4 Prof Dr Andrea Ladinig – Monitoring PRRS virus via tongue fluids

Monitoring PRRS virus can happen perfectly well using tongue fluids, a topic that won a recent European PRRS Research Award. Pig Progress editors Vincent ter Beek and Iris Hofman will discuss this technique with Dr Andrea Ladinig, professor at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, Austria.

Season 4, #3 Prof Christian Visscher – Lawsonia and the microbiome


This episode with Prof Dr Christian Visscher of the University of Veterinary Medicine in Hanover, Germany, focuses on Lawsonia intracellularis (causing ileitis). He speaks about its effect on the microbiome, and how this affects pig production and for what extend oral vaccination can have effect on these.

Season 4, #2 Lance Mulberry – Homogenising pig growth

Consulting economist Lance Mulberry is based in Missouri, USA. In this podcast with host and Pig Progress editor Vincent ter Beek, he shares his opinion about the pig industry’s tendency to focus on average to evaluate on-farm economic performance. He will address problems related to that tendency: it ignores variation and suggests that the underlying distribution is a normal. That way using averages will result in hidden costs, having many implications for the industry. His plea is to apply a more precision based approach.

Season 4, #1 Robert Hoste – Pig production worldwide

In this first episode of season 4, hosts Vincent ter Beek and Iris Hofman take a global look at pig production, with senior pig production economist Robert Hoste of Wageningen Economic Research. He discusses the latest developments with regard to pig populations in major pig producing countries around the globe. That means a deep dive into the situation in China – and how it dealt with the ASF waves in recent years, but also a look into the USA, Brazil, the EU (with special attention for Spain, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands).

#12 Prof Joaquim Segalés – Vaccination strategies for PCV2

Prof Joaquim Segalés is working as full professor at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain and is researcher at the Centre for Animal Health Research (IRTA-CReSA). He has been performing research on swine diseases since 1993. In this podcast, he discusses methods how to best vaccinate against Porcine Circovirus Disease, for sows, piglets, boars and gilts alike.

#11 Prof Hans Nauwynck – Understanding reproductive failure

Prof Hans Nauwynck is attached to the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Ghent University in Belgium. Viral diseases are at the core of his attention – and they will take centre stage in this episode of “Meet the Expert”. He will discuss reproductive failure in pigs, with particular attention for the viral component of that problem: PCV2, PRRS virus and parvovirus will be discussed.

#10 Dr Marina Sibila – Diagnostics of PCV2

In this episode we welcome Dr Marina Sibila from the animal research institute CReSA-IRTA in Catalunya, Spain. Her research line focuses mainly on the epidemiology, diagnosis, animal model development and prevention/treatment strategies of porcine respiratory pathogens, mainly porcine circoviruses (PCV-2 and PCV-3) and porcine mycoplasmas. With Dr Sibila we shall discuss the diagnostics of Porcine Circovirus – type 2.

#9 Prof Daniel Linhares – How to break the chain of PRRS infection?

This episode of “Meet the Expert” is focusing on the classification of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) virus and deals with the question how to break the chain of infection. Just like in the previous episode, wise words are shared by Daniel Linhares, associate professor and director of graduate education at Iowa State University, USA.

#8 Prof Daniel Linhares – New ways of monitoring PRRS

This episode is the first of two podcasts with associate professor Daniel Linhares of Iowa State University in the USA. He is a well-known global expert on Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome virus. This first episode revolves around monitoring of the virus in sow farms.

#7 Dr Christa Goodell – ASF and the tooth extraction method

This episode zooms in on African Swine Fever virus in Vietnam. As the virus has been around there for a few years, various strategies have been developed how to get the disease under control. Guest Dr Christa Goodell of Boehringer Ingelheim will explain about the so-called “tooth extraction method.” She researched this approach and discusses its pros and cons.

#6 Prof Leo den Hartog – Improving feed efficiency is sustainable

The word “sustainability” doesn’t need any introduction – trying to do more with less is on everybody’s mind. Making that happening, however, is easier said than done. During his many years at R&D with animal nutrition company Nutreco as well as in his role as professor at Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands, Leo den Hartog never stopped asking how the industry could achieve a better feed efficiency. He is optimistic there are still many things the industry can do to only do a better job in the future.

#5 Dr Amanda Sponheim – Early warning systems

This episode further explores the topic of Precision Livestock Farming, with a very practical application with regard to pig health: early warning systems, like the Soundtalks cough monitor. Featuring in this episode is Dr Amanda Sponheim, part of the US Boehringer Ingelheim swine team as a key account veterinarian and also a PhD candidate at the University of Minnesota, where her research is primarily about identifying diagnostic approaches that may improve the detection of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae in swine.

#4 Dr Tom Gillespie – M. hyo break in a naïve herd

In this episode the topic of conversation is Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae – causative agent for enzootic pneumonia in pigs. Very recently, new insights were acquired about costs related to eliminating the bacteria, after disease broke on a naïve breed-to-wean site. Guest in this podcast is Dr Tom Gillespie, DVM, previously the owner and founder of Rensselaer Swine Services, and currently an international consultant for Performance Health LLC.

#3 Prof Dr Daniël Berckmans – Precision Livestock Farming

Producing pigs more sustainably can be achieved in many ways. Precision Livestock Farming (PLF) is one of them – after all, with technology it is often possible to determine at very detailed level what certain pigs need in terms of feed, temperature, ventilation or medication. By applying a targeted treatment, better results can be achieved with minimum input. The guest in this 3rd episode of Meet the Expert is Prof Dr Daniël Berckmans, of Leuven KU in Belgium, who is well-known for his attempts to make PLF more applicable in livestock production.

#2 Prof Jim Lowe – Getting work done through others

Veterinarians rely on others for our success. Identifying disease, treating disease, implementing biosecurity, conducting vaccinations, and most importantly to choose a course of action are all out of control regardless of farm size or ownership structure. This podcast discusses nearly 30 years of “lessons learned” in addressing health and production challenges in systems across the globe and how life can be easier using principles from the science of leadership.

#1 Jordi Baliellas – Using tongue tip tissues for PRRS monitoring

When carrying out surveillance to detect PRRS virus presence in a herd, there are various ways to do so. In recent years, a new and effective method was developed by Spanish veterinarian Jordi Baliellas, attached to the Grup de Sanejament Porci (or Pig Hygiene Group) in Lleida, Spain. He opted for taking tongue tip samples – and that works very satisfactorily. In this first episode of the third Meet the Expert podcast series, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health and Pig Progress get to know all there is to know about tongue tip sampling for PRRS virus.