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Microbiology Logo Microbiology & Immunology
Te Tari Moromoroiti me te Ārai Mate

Dr Htin Lin Aung

Research interests:

Antimicrobial resistance, infectious diseases, genomic sequencing, clinical microbiology, molecular microbiology, molecular diagnostics, molecular epidemiology, host-pathogen interaction, global public health

Current research:

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is a global public health emergency. Drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) including multidrug-resistant (MDR-TB) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR-TB) is the main cause of deaths related to AMR.

Our research goal is to tackle AMR with a multidisciplinary, integrative approach using cutting-edge technologies such as next- and third generation whole-genome sequencing (Illumina and Oxford Nanopore).

Our research focuses on:

1. Identification of novel molecular signatures associated with antimicrobial resistance particularly drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis.  

2. Identification of the genetic basis for resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis for the development of diagnostics and anti-TB drugs

3. Insights into the transmission of drug-resistant tuberculosis at community and national level for effective and targeted interventions

4. Community engagement and capacity building


Tackling tuberculosis on the frontline

IMG 9977 4

Oxford Nanopore MinION sequencing on the frontline

IMG 2105 2 

Community Engagement

IMG 6845 3

 Myanmar Team

IMG 5780 2

New Zealand Team

IMG 8567











H.L. Aung, W.W. Nyunt, Y. Fong, B. Russell, G.M. Cook and S.T. Aung, (2018) Whole-genome Sequencing Reveals the Evidence of Acquired Resistance to Antituberculosis Drugs in Myanmar. Emerging Infectious Diseases (In Press)

K.S. Htun, Y. Fong, A.A. Kyaw, S.T. Aung, K.Z. Oo, T. Zaw, P.J. Lockhart, B. Russell, G.M. Cook, H.L. Aung and T.M. Hlaing, (2018) Microbiome Dataset from the Upper Respiratory Tract Microbiota of Patients Living with HIV, HIV/TB and TB from Myanmar. Data in Brief (In Press)

I. Basu, J. Bower, S. Roberts, G. Hendrson, O. Lowe, H.L. Aung, G. M. Cook and S. Newton, (2018) Utility of whole-genome sequencing for multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates in a reference TB laboratory in New Zealand. New Zealand Medical Journal (In Press)

X. Lu, Z. Williams, K. Hards, J. Tang, J. Cheung, H.L. Aung, B. Wang, X. Hu, A. Lenaerts, L. Woolhiser, C. Hastings, T. Zhang, X Zhang, Z. Wang. K. Rhee, K. Ding and G.M. Cook (2018) A pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyridine inhibitor of the respiratory cytochrome bcc complex for the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis. ACS Infectious Diseases (In Press)

C.V. Mulholland, D. Thorpe, R.T. Cursons, N. Karaus, Y. Fong, V.L. Arcus, G.M. Cook and H.L. Aung, (2018) Evaluation of the Rapid Molecular Diagnostic Test for the New Zealand Mycobacterium tuberculosis Rangipo Strain in a Clinical Setting. New Zealand Medical Journal 131(1478):70-72

H.L. Aung, W.W. Nyunt, Y. Fong, G.M. Cook and S.T. Aung, (2017) First two extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis cases from Myanmar treated with bedaquiline. Clinical Infectious Diseases 65(3):531-532.

H.L. Aung, T. Tun, W.W. Nyunt, Y. Fong, K.K. Thinn, J.A. Crump,  S.T. Aung, and G.M. Cook, (2017) Association between anti-tuberculosis drug resistance-conferring mutations and treatment outcomes in Myanmar. Infectious Disease doi: 10.1080/23744235.2017.1404632

R. Mortuza, H.L. Aung, G. Taiaroa, H.K. Opel-Reading, T. Kleffmann, G.M. Cook and K.L. Krause (2017) Overexpression of a newly identified D-amino acid transaminase in Mycobacterium smegmatis complements glutamate racemase deletion. Molecular Microbiology 107(2):198-213

Y. Nakatani, H.K. Opel-Reading, M. Merker, S.S. Kumar, D. Moradigaravand, F. Coll, D. Nair, K.R.U. Devi, T.A. Kohl, P. Beckert, S. Andres, G. Maphalala, D. Khumalo, R. Diel, K. Klaos, H.L. Aung, G.M. Cook, J. Parkhill, S.J. Peacock, S. Swaminathan, S. Niemann, K.L. Krause and C.U. Köser, (2017) Role of alanine racemase mutations in Mycobacterium tuberculosis D-cycloserine resistance: Evolutionary, structural and biochemical evidence. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 61(12):e01575-17

W.W. Nyunt, S.T. Aung, G.M. Cook and H.L. Aung, (2017) Evaluation of the MTBDRsl test for detection of second-line resistance in drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains in Myanmar. Infectious Disease 49:11-12, 865-866.

C.V. Mulholland, A. Ruthe, R.T. Cursons, N. Karaus, K. Coley, J. Bower, E. Permina, M.J. Coleman, S.A. Roberts, V.L. Arcus, G.M. Cook and H.L. Aung, (2017) Rapid Diagnosis of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Rangipo strain responsible for the largest recurring TB cluster in New Zealand. Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease 88:138-140.

W.W. Nyunt, S.T. Aung, T. Lwin, G.M. Cook and H.L. Aung, (2017) First- and second-line anti-tuberculosis drug resistance patterns among previous treatment failure patients in Myanmar. Journal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance 9:34-35.

H.L. Aung, T. Tun, E.Permina, W.W. Nyunt, S.T. Aung, T. Lwin, K.K. Thinn, J.A. Crump and G.M. Cook, (2016) Draft genome sequences of the drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from Myanmar. Genome Announcements 4: (5).

M. Petridis, C. Vickers, J. Robson, J. L. McKenzie, M. Bereza, A. Sharrock, H.L. Aung, V.L. Arcus and G.M. Cook, (2016) Structure and function of AmtR in Mycobacterium smegmatis: Implications for post-transcriptional regulation of urea metabolism through a small antisense RNA. Journal of Molecular Biology 428(21):4315-4329.

T. Tun, K. S. Aye, W.W. Nyunt, J.A. Crump, C. Nakajima, Y. Suzuki, K.K. Thinn, G.M. Cook and H.L. Aung, (2016) Genotypic diversity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains in Myanmar. Infectious Diseases 49(3):237-239.

T. Tun, K.Z. Latt, W.W. Nyunt, A.Samaranayaka, J.A. Crump, K.K. Thinn, G.M. Cook and H.L. Aung, (2016) Drug-resistant tuberculosis among previously treated patients in Yangon, Myanmar. International Journal of Mycobacteriology 5: 366-367.

H.L. Aung, T. Tun, D. Moradigaravand, C.U. Koser, W.W. Nyunt, S.T. Aung, T. Lwin, K.K. Thinn, J.A. Crump, J. Parkhill, S.J. Peacock, G.M. Cook and P.C. Hill, (2016) Whole-genome sequencing of multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from Myanmar. Journal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance 6: 113-117.

H.L. Aung, L. L. Dixon, L. J. Smith, N. P. Sweeney, J. R. Robson, M. Berney, R. Buxton, J. Green & G.M. Cook, (2015) Novel regulatory roles of cAMP receptor proteins (CRPs) in fast-growing environmental mycobacteria. Microbiology 161: 648-661.

H.L. Aung, C. Samaranayaka, R. Enright, K. Beggs & B. C. Monk, (2015) Characterisation of the DNA gyrase from the thermophilic eubacterium Thermus thermophiles. Protein Expression and Purification 107: 62-67.

H.L. Aung, D. Dey, R.S. Ronimus, P.H. Janssen & G.M. Cook, (2015) A high-throughput screening assay for identification of inhibitors of the A1AO-ATP synthase of the rumen methanogen Methanobrevibacter ruminantium M1. Journal of Microbiological Methods 110: 15-1.

H.L. Aung, M. Berney & G.M. Cook, (2014) Hypoxia-activated cytochrome bd expression in Mycobacterium smegmatis is cAMP receptor protein (CRP)-dependent. Journal of Bacteriology 196: 3091-3097.

D.G. McMillan, S.A. Ferguson, D. Dey, K. Schroder, H.L. Aung, V. Carbone, G.T. Attwood, R.S. Ronimus, T. Meier, P.H. Janssen & G.M. Cook, (2011) A1Ao-ATP synthase of Methanobrevibacter ruminantium couples sodium ions for ATP synthesis under physiological conditions. Journal of Biological Chemistry 286: 39882-39892.