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Joseph J. Burrascano Jr., MD

State of the Art Testing for Vector-Borne Pathogens Latest Approaches to the Treatment of Chronic Lyme Disease

Joseph J. Burrascano Jr., MD was raised in Montauk, NY, a small fishing village located 120 miles East of New York City. Montauk became known for a condition called “Montauk Knee”, a peculiar monoarthritis, and for the occurrence of unusual “spider bites” that resembled a bullseye and responded to penicillin treatment. Later it was found that the towns in the Montauk area, which includes East Hampton NY, where Dr. Burrascano opened his medical practice in 1981, had the highest case rate of Lyme disease in the world. In addition, tick flagging assays in these towns revealed pockets in which 100% of the ticks were infected with Borrelia.

It was in this setting that Dr. Burrascano began his medical practice. Through the 1980s he saw many patients with these and other seemingly mysterious conditions. It was then that he collaborated with key colleagues including Alan MacDonald, Willy Burgdorfer, Bernard Berger, and others to work out the clinical details of Lyme disease: presentation, laboratory features and diagnosis, and the very earliest meaningful studies on treatment. The culmination of this body of work is his now-classic monograph “Diagnostic Hints and Treatment Guidelines on Lyme Disease” which had been translated into many languages and has always been offered free of charge to all who wanted a copy. It has been suggested that this work formed the basis of the modern, currently accepted view of Lyme and related tick-borne diseases, including how difficult it can be to diagnose and treat and the wide spectrum of its potential presentations.

He was a founding member and director of both the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) and its educational arm, the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Educational Foundation (ILADEF). One of the first ILADS members to host clinical clerkships, his dedication to practitioner education continues to this day through his conference presentations, webinars, and writings. Dr. Burrascano closed his practice several years ago and began work in the biotech arena as a research project analyst and occasional project manager; however he still does consultancy work for business entities and fellow practitioners in the tick-borne diseases field.

Joseph J. Burrascano Jr., MD - Forum for Integrative Medicine