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

A/Professor Matloob Husain

Research interests:

Virology (Influenza virus, SARS-CoV-2)

Current research:

Influenza virus remains one of the most circulated viruses and flu remains one of the most common infectious diseases in humans, globally. This burden of influenza virus on global public health may even get worse with the co-circulation and co-infection of pandemic SARS-CoV-2. The identification of factors which govern influenza virus multiplication and determine flu severity in humans is critical to develop effective and tailored antiviral strategies. We have discovered that acetylation, an epigenetic protein modification, plays a critical role in influenza virus infection and may determine the severity of flu in humans. Current research is focused on elucidating the role of acetylation machinery in influenza virus infection. We use human lung epithelial cells as the infection model of type A influenza virus. We manipulate the expression of genes which control acetylation by tools like RNA Interference and CRISPR/Cas9 and then analyse the effect on influenza virus replication and pathogenesis and host innate immune response by RNA Sequencing, mass spectrometry, plaque assay, qRT-PCR, and western blotting.

PhD, MSc, and BSc Honours research projects are available in this space. Contact me ( to discuss potential projects and visit University of Otago Graduate Research School website for information on admission and scholarships.


(Since 2017)

Matloob Husain (2024)Influenza virus host restriction factors: the ISGs and non-ISGs. Pathogens 13 (2): 127. Article Link

Matloob Husain (2024). Influenza A virus and acetylation: the picture is becoming clearer. Viruses 16 (1): 131. Article Link

Mazhar Hussain, Farjana Ahmed, Bennett Henzeler, Matloob Husain* (2023). Anti-microbial host factor HDAC6 is antagonised by the influenza A virus through host caspases and viral PA. The FEBS Journal, 290 (10), 2744-2759. Article Link

Matloob Husain (2022). Identifying Caspases and their Motifs that Cleave Proteins During Influenza A Virus Infection. Journal of Visualized Experiments, (185), e64189, Article Link

Farjana Ahmed and Matloob Husain* (2022)Human N-alpha-acetyltransferase 60 promotes influenza A virus infection by dampening the interferon alpha signaling. Frontiers in Immunology12:771792. Article Link

Farjana Ahmed, Torsten Kleffmann, Matloob Husain* (2021). Acetylation, methylation and allysine modification profile of viral and host proteins during influenza A virus infection. Viruses 13(7):1415. Article Link 

Matloob Husain (2020). Host factors involved in influenza virus infectionEmerging Topics in Life Sciences. 4: 401-410. Article Link

Mark Zanin, Jennifer DeBeauchamp, Gowthami Vangala, Richard J. Webby and Matloob Husain* (2020). Histone deacetylase 6 knockout mice exhibit higher susceptibility to influenza A virus infection. Viruses 12(7): 728. Article Link

Matloob Husain (2020). Viruses are a national security issue, and we need a budget to fight themStuff Apr 30. Article Link

Da-Yuan Chen and Matloob Husain* (2020). Caspase-mediated cleavage of human cortactin during influenza A virus infection occurs in its actin-binding domains and is associated with released virus titres. Viruses 12(1): 87. Article Link

Henry D Galvin and Matloob Husain* (2019)Influenza A virus-induced host caspase and viral PA-X antagonise the antiviral host factor, histone deacetylase 4. Journal of Biological Chemistry294: 20207-20221. Article Link

Rajesh Lamichhane, Henry Galvin, Rachel F Hannaway, Sara M de la Harpe, Fran Munro, Joel DA Tyndall, Andrea J Vernall, John L McCall, Matloob Husain, and James E Ussher (2019)Type I interferons are important co‐stimulatory signals during T cell receptor mediated human MAIT cell activation. European Journal of Immunology DOI: 10.1002/eji.201948279. Article Link

Ashley N Nutsford, Henry D Galvin, Farjana Ahmed, and Matloob Husain* (2018)The Class IV human deacetylase, HDAC11, exhibits anti‐influenza A virus properties via its involvement in host innate antiviral response. Cellular Microbiology, e12989. Article Link 

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

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

Subrata Barman, Petr S Krylov, Jasmine C Turner, John Franks, Robert G Webster, Matloob Husain, Richard J Webby (2017)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. Article Link

See all publications on Google Scholar profile

Media and Press

Never Covids. The Project NZ, 8 Feb 2022

Flu targets. He Kitenga 150, 2019 ed. pp 37-39

Otago’s flu vaccination programme surveyed

On campus flu vaccinations popular

No 'jabs' flu vaccination approach paying off

Matloob on the cover of Otago Bulletin

Research Facility

Antiviral drug screenings