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 three journals (TBED, Front.Immunol., Vaccines). 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 in systems immunology, the biology of dendritic cells and the immune system of horses and other animals.

Research collaborations



Chester Zoo

University of Berne, Switzerland

USP & Albert Einstein Hospital, São Paulo 


MSc Veterinary Microbiology



Member of Journal Editorial Boards



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

McGowan, S., Dastjerdi, A., La Rocca, A., Choudhury, B., Steinbach, F., (2018) Incursion of Schmallenberg virus into Great Britain 2011 and emergence of variant strains in 2016 The Veterinary Journal, 234, 77-84           doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2018.02.001.

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                doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2018.02.017.

Strong R, Graham SP, La Rocca SA, Raue R, Vangeel I, Steinbach F, (2018) Establishment of a Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus Type 2 Intranasal Challenge Model for Assessing Vaccine Efficacy. Front Vet Sci, 5:24.                      doi: 10.3389/fvets.2018.00024.

Riitho V, Larska M, Strong R, La Rocca SA, Locker N, Alenius S, Steinbach F, Liu L, Uttenthal Å, Graham SP (2018) Comparative analysis of adaptive immune responses following experimental infections of cattle with bovine viral diarrhoea virus-1 and an Asiatic atypical ruminant pestivirus. Vaccine, 36, 4494-4500.              doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2018.06.019.

Soldevila F, Edwards JC, Graham SP, Stevens LM, Crudgington B, Crooke HR, Werling D & Steinbach F (2018) Characterization of the Myeloid Cell Populations Resident in the Porcine Palatine Tonsil. Front. Immunol. 9:1800               doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.01800

Grierson S., McGowan S., Cook C, Steinbach F, Choudhury B. (2019) Molecular and in vitro characterisation of hepatitis E virus from UK pigs Virology, 527, 116-121.               doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2018.10.018.

McCarthy RR, Everett HE, Graham SP, Steinbach F, Crooke HR (2019) Head Start Immunity: Characterizing the Early Protection of C Strain Vaccine Against Subsequent Classical Swine Fever Virus Infection. Front Immunol. 2019 Jul 23;10:1584.       doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.01584.  

Kazemimanesh M, Madadgar O, Steinbach F, Choudhury B, Azadmanesh K  (2019) Detection and molecular characterization of bovine leukemia virus in various regions of Iran. J Gen Virol. 100, 1315-1327                    doi: 10.1099/jgv.0.001303.

Dorey-Robinson DLW, Locker N, Steinbach F, Choudhury B. (2019) Molecular characterization of equine infectious anaemia virus strains detected in England in 2010 and 2012. Transbound Emerg Dis. 2019 66:2311–2317         doi: 10.1111/tbed.13286.

McCleary S, Strong R, McCarthy RR, Edwards JC, Howes EL, Stevens LM, Sánchez-Cordón PJ, Núñez A, Watson S, Mileham AJ, Lillico SG, Tait-Burkard C, Proudfoot C, Ballantyne M, Whitelaw CBA, Steinbach F, Crooke HR (2020) Substitution of warthog NF-κB motifs into RELA of domestic pigs is not sufficient to confer resilience to African swine fever virus Nat Sci Rep. 2020 Jun 2;10:8951.                   doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-65808-1.

Wernike K, Reimann I, Banyard AC, Kraatz F, La Rocca SA, Hoffmann B, McGowan S, Hechinger S, Choudhury B, Aebischer A, Steinbach F, Beer M. (2021) High genetic variability of Schmallenberg virus M- segment leads to efficient immune escape from neutralizing antibodies. PLoS Pathog 17(1): e1009247.     doi: 10.1371/journal. ppat.1009247

Soldevila F, Edwards JC, Graham SP, Crooke HR, Werling D & Steinbach F (2021) Activation of Dendritic Cells in Tonsils Is Associated with CD8 T Cell Responses following Vaccination with Live Attenuated Classical Swine Fever Virus Int. J. Mol. Sci., 22, 8795.            https://doi.org/10.3390 /ijms22168795

Meek, S. Watson, T., Eory, L., McFarlane, G., ……… Archibald, A.L., Steinbach, F., Crooke, H.R., Gao, X., Liu, P. & Burdon, T. (2022) Stem cell-derived porcine macrophages as a new platform for studying host-pathogen interactions  BMC Biology (2022) 20:14       doi.org/10.1186/s12915-021-01217-8

Dastjerdi A., LaRoccaS.A., Karuna S., Finnegan C., Peake J. & Steinbach, F. (2022) Examining bull semen for residues of Schmallenberg virus RNA TBED, vol 69, e153-e160,         DOI: 10.1111/tbed.14275

Strong R, McCleary S, Grierson S, Choudhury B, Steinbach F and Crooke HR (2022)  Molecular Epidemiology Questions Transmission Pathways Identified During the Year 2000 Outbreak of Classical Swine Fever in the UK.  Front. Microbiol. 13:909396.     doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2022.909396 

Moyo, N.A.; Westcott, D.; Simmonds, R. & Steinbach, F. (2023) Equine Arteritis Virus in Monocytic Cells Suppresses Differentiation and Function of Dendritic Cells.  Viruses,15,255.                          doi.org/ 10.3390/v15010255