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

Dr Matloob Husain

Research interests:

Molecular Virology, Viral Pathogenesis and Epidemiology

Current research:

I am a Senior Lecturer in Virology. My laboratory is interested in understanding the virus-host cell interactions at molecular level. Viruses are obligate intracellular pathogens that exploit host cell machinery to complete their life cycle and cause disease. Current research in my laboratory focuses on the identification of novel host factors and signalling pathways involved in the replication and pathogenesis of influenza virus and vaccinia virus.

PhD and MSc research projects are available, please visit University of Otago Graduate Research School website for information on PhD and MSc admissions and available scholarships.

Lab group

Lab Photo

Postgraduate students

Farjana AhmedHenry GalvinMazhar Hussain


August, 2017 - Congratulations to Ashley who has completed her MSc (Thesis only) with an 'A' grade (88%)!!! 

April, 2017 - Check out our Review on drug resistance in influenza A virus.  

April, 2017 - Congratulations to Prashanth who has completed his PhD and set to leave for USA to start the next stage of his research career - post doctoral training!!

Research projects

Influenza virus

Influenza virus causes regular seasonal epidemics and unpredictable pandemics, which have serious medical and economic consequences for global public health. Influenza is an enveloped virus with a segmented, negative-sense RNA genome. Influenza enters the host cell by endocytosis, replicates in the nucleus, assembles at the plasma membranes and subsequently released by budding. Hence, it encounters and manipulates potentially hundreds of host factors in each cellular compartment. Our goal is to discover and investigate the role of novel host factors involved in influenza virus entry, assembly and release, and determine their potential as the target of anti-influenza interventions.

Vaccinia virus

Vaccinia is a poxvirus and was used as a vaccine for the eradication of Smallpox. Currently, vaccinia virus is used and developed as an expression vector, oncolytic agent and vaccine vector. Vaccinia virus is one of the best model systems to understand how viruses antagonize the host antiviral response. Vaccinia exclusively replicates in host cell cytoplasm and primarily produce two types of infectious virus particles that are enclosed by two distinct viral membranes. Our goal is to understand the molecular mechanism of the origin of those viral membranes.


Prashanth T Nagesh, Mazhar Hussain, Henry D Galvin, and Matloob Husain*Histone deacetylase 2 is a component of influenza A virus-induced host antiviral response. Frontiers in Microbiology, 8: 1315 (2017).

Mazhar Hussain, Henry D Galvin, Tatt Y Haw, Ashley N Nutsford, and Matloob Husain*Drug resistance in influenza A virus: the epidemiology and management. Infection and Drug Resistance 10: 121-134 (2017).

Subrata Barman, Petr S Krylov, Jasmine C Turner, John Franks, Robert G Webster, Matloob Husain, Richard J Webby. Manipulation of neuraminidase packaging signals and hemagglutinin residues improves the growth of A/Anhui/1/2013 (H7N9) influenza vaccine virus yield in eggs. Vaccine 35 (10): 1424-1430 (2017).

Matloob Husain*, Andrew Gray, and Richard Carlos TorrThe awareness and uptake of free flu vaccination offered to University of Otago staff. NZ Medical Journal 129 (1443): 92-93 (2016).

Da-Yuan Chen and Matloob Husain*. Caspase-mediated degradation of host cortactin that promotes influenza A virus infection in epithelial cells. Virology 497: 146-156 (2016).

Prashanth T Nagesh and Matloob Husain*Influenza A virus dysregulates host histone deacetylase 1 that inhibits viral infection in lung epithelial cells. Journal of Virology 90 (9): 4614-4625 (2016).

Vivek Poonthiyil, Prashanth T Nagesh, Matloob Husain, Vladimir B Golovko, and Antony J Fairbanks. Gold nanoparticles decorated with sialic acid terminated bi-antennary N-glycans for the detection of influenza virus at nanomolar concentrations. ChemistryOpen 4 : 708-716 (2015). *Published with cover page illustration and article highlight.

Hassan Zaraket, Tatiana Baranovich, BS Kaplan, R Carter, MS Song, JC Paulson, JE Rehg, J Bahl, JC Crumpton, J Seiler, M Edmonson, G Wu, E Karlsson, T Fabrizio, H Zhu, Y Guan, Matloob Husain, S Schultz-Cherry, S Krauss, R McBride, RG Webster, EA Govorkova, J Zhang, CJ Russell, and Richard J Webby. Mammalian adaptation of influenza A (H7N9) virus is limited by a narrow genetic bottleneck. Nature Communications 6 : 6553 (2015).

Matloob Husain*. Avian influenza A (H7N9) virus infection in humans: Epidemiology, Evolution, and Pathogenesis. Infection, Genetics and Evolution. 28 : 304-312 (2014).

Matloob Husain* and CY Cheung. Histone deacetylase 6 inhibits influenza A virus release by downregulating the trafficking of viral components to the plasma membrane via its substrate acetylated microtubules. Journal of Virology 88 (19) : 11229-11239 (2014).

Singh, S.P., Gundavarapu, S., Smith, K.R., Chand, H.S., Saeed, A.I., Mishra, N.C., Hutt, J., Barrett, E.G., Husain, M., Harrod, K.S., Langley, R.J., Sopori, M.L. Gestational Exposure of Mice to Secondhand Cigarette Smoke Causes Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia Blocked by the Nicotinic Receptor Antagonist Mecamylamine. Environmental Health Perspectives 121: 957-964 (2013).

Husain M* and Harrod KS. Enhanced acetylation of alpha-tubulin in influenza A virus infected epithelial cells. FEBS Letters 585 (1): 128-132 (2011).

Husain M* and Harrod KS. Influenza A virus-induced caspase-3 cleaves the histone deacetylase 6 in infected epithelial cells. FEBS Letters 583 (15): 2517-2520 (2009).

Husain, M., A. Weisberg and B. Moss (2007). Resistance of a vaccinia virus A34R-deletion mutant to spontaneous rupture of the outer membrane of progeny virions on the surface of infected cells. Virology 366 (2): 424-432.

Husain, M., A. Weisberg and B. Moss (2007). Sequence-independent targeting of trans-membrane proteins synthesized within vaccinia virus factories to nascent viral membranes. Journal of Virology 81 (6): 2646-2655. *Article selected for journal spotlight.

Husain, M., A. Weisberg and B. Moss (2006). Existence of an operative pathway from the endoplasmic reticulum to the immature poxvirus membrane. Proceedings of National Academy of Science USA 103 (51): 19506-19511.

Husain, M. and B. Moss (2005). Role of receptor-mediated endocytosis in the formation of vaccinia virus extracellular enveloped particles. Journal of Virology 79 (7): 4080-4089.

Husain, M. and B. Moss (2003). Evidence against an essential role of COPII-mediated cargo transport to the endoplasmic reticulum-Golgi intermediate compartment in the formation of the primary membrane of vaccinia virus. Journal of Virology 77 (21): 11754-11766.

Husain, M. and B. Moss (2003). Intracellular trafficking of a palmitoylated membrane-associated protein component of enveloped vaccinia virus. Journal of Virology 77 (16): 9008-9019.

Husain, M., A. Weisberg and B. Moss (2003). Topology of epitope-tagged F13 protein, a major membrane component of extracellular vaccinia virions. Virology 308 (2): 233-242. *Published with cover page illustration.

Husain, M. and B. Moss (2002). Similarities in the induction of post-Golgi vesicles by the vaccinia virus F13 protein and phospholipase D. Journal of Virology 76 (15): 7777-7789.

Husain, M. and B. Moss (2001). Vaccinia virus F13 protein with a conserved phospholipase catalytic motif induces colocalization of the B5 envelope glycoprotein in post-Golgi vesicles. Journal of Virology 75 (16): 7528-7542.

Husain, M. and C. M. Gupta (1997). Interactions of viral matrix protein and nucleoprotein with the host cell cytoskeletal actin in influenza viral infection. Current Science 73:40-47.


(Past and Present)

Health Research Council

HS and JC Anderson Trust

Lottery Health Board

School of Biomedical Sciences

University of Otago


Matloob on the cover of Otago Bulletin