Falko Steinbach

Professor Falko Steinbach

Professor of Veterinary Immunology

Academic and research departments

School of Veterinary Medicine.



Falko graduated as a veterinarian in 1990 from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Berlin, Germany, and subsequently obtained his post-graduate degrees there (1994, 2004). After a time as post-doctoral researcher at the Institute of Virology at the Free University of Berlin, he moved to the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, also in Berlin, to lead the immunology team. In 2005, he moved to what is now known as the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Weybridge. In 2001, Falko was a founding member of the European Veterinary Immunology Group (EVIG), which he chaired until 2012, and has organised national and international meetings for veterinary immunologists. Falko is a member of several national and international scientific societies and a member of the editorial board for two journals (TBED, JMMCR). Since July 2014, Falko has been a Professor for Veterinary Immunology at the School of Veterinary Medicine in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Surrey.

Research interests

Falko's research interest is in host-pathogen interaction and the modulation of immune reactions, where the long-term aim is to create better vaccines for infectious diseases and other types of diseases. To this end, his particular interest is the biology of dendritic cells and the immune system of horses and other animals.

Research collaborations




University of Berne, Switzerland


BSc Veterinary Biosciences

MSc Veterinary Microbiology

BVMSci - Veterinary Medicine and Science



Member of Journal Editorial Boards

Member of the VAC of the HBLB

My publications


Frossard, J.P., Hughes, G.J., Westcott, D.G., Naidu, B., Williamson, S., Woodger, N.G., Steinbach, F., Drew, T.W., (2013).  Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus: Genetic diversity of recent British isolates.  Vet Microbiol, 162, 507-18

Mansfield, K.L., Rocca, S.A., Khatri, M., Johnson, N., Steinbach, F., Fooks, A.R., (2013).  Detection of Schmallenberg virus serum neutralising antibodies.  J Virol Methods, 188, 139-144 

Strong, R., Errington, J., Cook, R., Ross-Smith, N., Wakeley, P., Steinbach, F., (2013).  Increased phylogenetic diversity of bovine viral diarrhoea virus type 1 isolates in England and Wales since 2001.  Vet Microbiol, 162, 315-320 

Morgan, S.B., Graham, S.P., Salguero, F.J., Sanchez Cordon, P.J., Mokhtar, H., Rebel, J.M., Weesendorp, E., Bodman-Smith, K.B., Steinbach, F., Frossard, J.P., (2013).  Increased pathogenicity of European porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus is associated with enhanced adaptive responses and viral clearance.  Veterinary microbiology 163, 13-22

Moyo, N.A., Marchi, E., Steinbach, F. (2013).  Differentiation and activation of equine monocyte-derived dendritic cells is not correlated with CD206 or CD83 expression.  Immunology, 139, 472-83

Wilkie, G.S., Davison, A.J., Watson, M., Kerr, K., Sanderson, S., Bouts, T., Steinbach, F., Dastjerdi, A., (2013). Complete genome sequences of elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses 1A and 1B determined directly from fatal cases. Journal of Virology, 87, 6700-12

Choudhury B, Finnegan C, Frossard JP, Venables C, Steinbach F (2013)  Detection of Bovine Leukaemia Virus Antibodies and Proviral DNA in Colostrum Replacers. Emerg Infect Dis., 19, 1027-28 

Hamza, E., Akdis, C.A., Wagner, B., Steinbach, F., Marti, E., (2013) In vitro induction of functional allergen-specific CD4+ CD25high Treg cells in horses affected with insect bite hypersensitivity.  Clinical and Experimental Allergy, 43, 889-901

Wescott, D.G., Mildenberg, Z., Bellaiche, M., McGowan, S.L., Grierson, S.S., Choudhury, B., Steinbach, F., (2013) Evidence for the Circulation of Equine Encephalosis Virus in Israel since 2001.  PloS one 8, e70532

van der Poel WH, Cay B, Zientara S, Steinbach F, Valarcher JF, Bøtner A, Mars MH, Hakze-van der Honing R, Schirrmeier H, Beer M. (2014) Limited interlaboratory comparison of Schmallenberg virus antibody detection in serum samples Vet Rec. 174(15):380 

Mavrommatis B, Offord V, Patterson R, Watson M, Kanellos T, Steinbach F, Grierson S, Werling D. (2014) Global gene expression profiling of myeloid immune cell subsets in response to in vitro challenge with porcine circovirus 2b PLoS One. Mar 11;9:e91081. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091081

Westcott DG, Frossard JP, Everest D, Dastjerdi A, Duff JP, Steinbach F, Choudhury B. (2014) Incursion of RHDV2-like variant in Great Britain Vet Rec. 177:333

Furuse Y, Dastjerdi A, Seilern-Moy K, Steinbach F, Cullen BR. (2014) Analysis of viral microRNA expression by elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus 1 Virology. 454-455:102-8

Schock A, Gurrala R, Fuller H, Foyle L, Dauber M, Martelli F, Scholes S, Roberts L, Steinbach F, Dastjerdi A. (2014) Investigation into an outbreak of encephalomyelitis caused by a neuroinvasive porcine sapelovirus in the United Kingdom Vet Microbiol. 172(3-4):381-9

Barlow A, Lawrence K, Everest D, Dastjerdi A, Finnegan C, Steinbach F. (2014) Confirmation of myxomatosis in a European brown hare in Great Britain. Vet Rec. 175(3):75-6

Wilkie GS, Davison AJ, Kerr K, Stidworthy MF, Redrobe S, Steinbach F, Dastjerdi A, Denk D. (2014) First fatality associated with elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus 5 in an Asian elephant: pathological findings and complete viral genome sequence. Sci Rep. Sep 9;4:6299. doi: 10.1038/srep06299

McGowan S, Nunez-Garcia J, Steinbach F, La Rocca A, Blake D, Dastjerdi A. (2014) Ribosomal RNA depletion or exclusion has negligible effect on the detection of viruses in a pan viral microarray. J Virol Methods.207:163-8

Steinbach F, Westcott DG, McGowan SL, Grierson SS, Frossard JP, Choudhury B. (2015) Re-emergence of a genetic outlier strain of equine arteritis virus: Impact on phylogeny.  Virus research, 202: 144-150

Salguero FJ, Frossard JP, Rebel JM, Stadejek T, Morgan SB, Graham SP, Steinbach, F.. (2015) Host-pathogen interactions during porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus 1 infection of piglets.  Virus research, 202: 135-143

Hamza E, Mirkovitch J, Steinbach F, Marti E. (2015) Regulatory T Cells in Early Life: Comparative Study of CD4+CD25high T Cells from Foals and Adult Horses.  PLoS One. Mar 19;10:e0120661. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0120661

Choudhury B, Finnegan C, Phillips A, Horigan M, Pollard T, Steinbach F. (2015) Detection of Bovine Leukaemia Virus Antibodies and Proviral DNA in Colostrum Replacers. Transboundary and emerging diseases, 62(5): e60-6: doi: 10.1111/tbed.12182

Barnett J, Dastjerdi A, Davison N, Deaville R, Everest D, Peake J, Steinbach F.. (2015) Identification of Novel Cetacean Poxviruses in Cetaceans Stranded in South West England.  PloS one, 10(6): e0124315

Molenaar FM, La Rocca SA, Khatri M, Lopez J, Steinbach F, Dastjerdi A.  Exposure of Asian Elephants and Other Exotic Ungulates to Schmallenberg Virus.  PloS one 2015, 10(8): e0135532

Grierson S, Heaney J, Cheney T, Morgan D, Wyllie S, Powell L, Smith D, Ijaz S, Steinbach F, Choudhury B, Tedder RS (2015) Prevalence of Hepatitis E Virus Infection in Pigs at the Time of Slaughter, United Kingdom, 2013. Emerging infectious diseases, 21(8): 1396-1401

Dastjerdi A, Carr J, Ellis RJ, Steinbach F, Williamson S. (2015) Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus among Farmed Pigs, Ukraine.  Emerging infectious diseases, 21(12): 2235-2237

Schulz C, van der Poel WH, Ponsart C, Cay AB, Steinbach F, Zientara S, Beer M, Hoffmann B. (2015) European interlaboratory comparison of Schmallenberg virus (SBV) real-time RT-PCR detection in experimental and field samples: The method of extraction is critical for SBV RNA detection in semen. Journal of veterinary diagnostic investigation, 27: 422-430

Strong R, La Rocca SA, Paton D, Bensaude E, Sandvik T, Davis L, Turner J, Drew T, Raue R, Vangeel I, Steinbach F (2015)  Viral Dose and Immunosuppression Modulate the Progression of Acute BVDV-1 Infection in Calves: Evidence of Long Term Persistence after Intra-Nasal Infection. PloS one, 10(5): e0124689

Garcia-Nicolas O, Rosales RS, Pallares FJ, Risco D, Quereda JJ, Graham SP, Frossard JP, Morgan SB, Steinbach F, Drew TW, Strickland TS, Salguero FJ. (2015)  Comparative analysis of cytokine transcript profiles within mediastinal lymph node compartments of pigs after infection with PRRSV-1 strains differing in pathogenicity.  Veterinary Res., 46: 34

Walters AA, Somavarapu S, Riitho V, Stewart GR, Charleston B, Steinbach F, Graham SP (2015) Assessment of the enhancement of PLGA nanoparticle uptake by dendritic cells through the addition of natural receptor ligands and monoclonal antibody.  Vaccine, 33: 6588-6595

Mokhtar, H., Pedrera, M., Frossard, J.P., Biffar, L., Hammer, S.E., Kvisgaard, L.K., Larsen, L.E., Stewart, G.R., Somavarapu, S., Steinbach, F., Graham, S.P., 2016.  The Non-structural Protein 5 and Matrix Protein Are Antigenic Targets of T Cell Immunity to Genotype 1 Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Viruses.  Frontiers in Immunology 7, 40

Amarilla, S.P., Gomez-Laguna, J., Carrasco, L., Rodriguez-Gomez, I.M., Caridad, Y.O.J.M., Graham, S.P., Frossard, J.P., Steinbach, F., Salguero, F.J., 2016.  Thymic depletion of lymphocytes is associated with the virulence of PRRSV-1 strains.  Veterinary Microbiology 188, 47-58

Seilern-Moy, K., Darpel, K., Steinbach, F., Dastjerdi, A., 2016.  Distribution and load of elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses in tissues from associated fatalities of Asian elephants.  Virus Research 220, 91-96

Morgan, S.B., Frossard, J.P., Pallares, F.J., Gough, J., Stadejek, T., Graham, S.P., Steinbach, F., Drew, T.W., Salguero, F.J., 2016.  Pathology and Virus Distribution in the Lung and Lymphoid Tissues of Pigs Experimentally Inoculated with Three Distinct Type 1 PRRS Virus Isolates of Varying Pathogenicity. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases 63, 285-295

Dastjerdi, A., Seilern-Moy, K., Darpel, K., Steinbach, F., Molenaar, F., 2016.  Surviving and fatal Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus-1A infections in juvenile Asian elephants - lessons learned and recommendations on anti-herpesviral therapy.  BMC Veterinary Research 12, 178

Singleton, H., Graham, S.P., Bodman-Smith, K.B., Frossard, J.P., Steinbach, F., 2016.  Establishing Porcine Monocyte-Derived Macrophage and Dendritic Cell Systems for Studying the Interaction with PRRSV-1.  Frontiers in Microbiology 7, 832

Choudhury, B., Dastjerdi, A., Doyle, N., Frossard, J.P., Steinbach, F., 2016. From the field to the lab - An European view on the global spread of PEDV.  Virus Res., 226, 40-49

Steinbach, F., Dastjerdi, A., Peake, J., La Rocca, S.A., Tobin, F., Frossard, J.P., Williamson, S., 2016. A retrospective study detects a novel variant of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus in England in archived material from the year 2000.  PeerJ 4, e2564

Ziegler, A., Everett, H., Hamza, E., Garbani, M., Gerber, V., Marti, E., Steinbach, F., 2016.  Equine dendritic cells generated with horse serum have enhanced functionality in comparison to dendritic cells generated with fetal bovine serum.  BMC Vet Res 12, 254

Strandbygaard, B., Lavazza, A., Lelli, D., Blanchard, Y., Grasland, B., Poder, S.L., Rose, N., Steinbach, F., van der Poel, W.H., Widen, F., Belsham, G.J., Botner, A., 2016.  Inter-laboratory study to characterize the detection of serum antibodies against porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus.  Vet Microbiol 197, 151-160 

Abutarbush, S.M., La Rocca, A., Wernike, K., Beer, M., Al Zuraikat, K., Al Sheyab, O.M., Talafha, A.Q., Steinbach, F., 2017.  Circulation of a Simbu Serogroup Virus, Causing Schmallenberg Virus-Like Clinical Signs in Northern Jordan.  Transbound Emerg Dis 64, 1095-1099

Edwards, J.C., Everett, H.E., Pedrera, M., Mokhtar, H., Marchi, E., Soldevila, F., Kaveh, D.A., Hogarth, P.J., Johns, H.L., Nunez-Garcia, J., Steinbach, F., Crooke, H.R., Graham, S.P., 2017.  CD1- and CD1+ porcine blood dendritic cells are enriched for the orthologues of the two major mammalian conventional subsets.  Nat Sci Rep 7, 40942

Amarilla, S.P., Gomez-Laguna, J., Carrasco, L., Rodriguez-Gomez, I.M., Caridad, Y.O.J.M., Graham, S.P., Frossard, J.P., Steinbach, F., Salguero, F.J., 2017.  Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome type 1 viruses induce hypoplasia of erythroid cells and myeloid cell hyperplasia in the bone marrow of experimentally infected piglets independently of the viral load and virulence.  Vet Microbiol 201, 126-135

Frossard, J.P., Grierson, S., Cheney, T., Steinbach, F., Choudhury, B., Williamson, S., 2017.  UK pigs at the time of slaughter: Investigation into the correlation of infection with PRRSV and HEV.  Viruses 9, June 9; pii: E110. doi: 10.3390/v9060110

Mokhtar, H., Biffar, L., Somavarapu, S., Frossard, J.P., McGowan, S., Pedrera, M., Strong, R., Edwards, J.C., Garcia-Duran, M., Rodriguez, M.J., Stewart, G.R., Steinbach, F., Graham, S.P., 2017. Evaluation of hydrophobic chitosan-based particulate formulations of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus vaccine candidate T cell antigens.  Vet Microbiol. 209, 66-74. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2017.01.037

Riitho, V., Walters, A., Somavarapu S., Lamp, B, Rümenapf, T., Krey, T., Rey, F., Oviedo-Orta, E., Stewart, G., Locker, N., Steinbach, F. & Graham, S. 2017  Design and evaluation of the immunogenicity and efficacy of a biomimetic particulate formulation of viral antigens  Nat Sci Rep 7, 13743  DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-13915-x 

Rasmussen T, Boniotti M, Papetti A, Grasland B, Frossard JP, Dastjerdi A, Hulst M, Hanke D, Pohlmann A, Blome S, v.d. Poel W, Steinbach F, Blanchard Y, Lavazza A, Bøtner A, Belsham G. 2018 Full-length genome sequences of porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus strain CV777; Use of NGS to analyse genomic and sub-genomic RNAs.  PLoS One. 2018 Mar 1;13(3):e0193682. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0193682

Choudhury, B., Dastjerdi, A., La Rocca, A., McGowan, S., Steinbach, F., 2018  Schmallenberg virus incursion in Great Britain 2011 and emergence of variant strains in 2016 The Veterinary Journal, 234, 77-84 

Singleton, H., Graham, S.P., Frossard, J.P., Bodman-Smith, K.B., Steinbach, F., 2018  Infection of monocytes with European porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV-1) strain Lena is significantly enhanced by dexamethasone and IL-10  Virology, 517, 199-207