Fordham von Reyn honored for TB vaccine

The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease honored Fordham von Reyn on March 1 with its lifetime achievement award for creating a vaccine that reduces tuberculosis in HIV patients.

"It's the first vaccine in about 100 years to be shown to be effective," Lisa Adams, part of von Reyn's research team and an associate dean at the Geisel School of Medicine, said, reports.

Von Reyn's vaccine - DAR-901 - is 40 percent effective in patients with HIV. Approximately 25 percent of deaths among people with HIV are caused by tuberculosis, the World Health Organization reports.

"I saw the impact that tuberculosis had on people with HIV," von Reyn said, reports.

The vaccine has not been tested in humans without HIV, but von Reyn said that it should prove to be more effective in such a population because it does not have a compromised immune system.

"Even if the effectiveness is only 20 percent, it will make a huge difference," von Reyn said, according to "We might not use it in the United States, but in Africa, it would make a big difference."

Only one tuberculosis vaccine, which has been in use since 1921, is currently used by doctors. It is 80 percent effective at protecting people for a 15-year period.