Center for Nontuberculous Mycobacteria and Bronchiectasis

imaging copy of nontuberculous mycobacteria-infected lung

About our Practice

Established in 2018, the Johns Hopkins Center for Nontuberculous Mycobacteria and Bronchiectasis is dedicated to the specialized care of adult patients with suspected or confirmed nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) infection (in the lung or elsewhere) and/or non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis.  The Center is made up of a multi-disciplinary team of experts with training in pulmonary medicine, infectious diseases and airway clearance techniques.   Patients of this Center are able to be seen by pulmonologists, infectious diseases physicians and physical therapists with expertise in airway clearance techniques during the same clinic session.

NTM are a diverse group of environmental bacteria that are found in soil and water.  In certain individuals, these bacteria can cause human disease, which most frequently occurs in the form of a chronic lung infection that can be mistaken for tuberculosis.  Less commonly, these bacteria can cause skin or soft tissue infections, swollen lymph nodes (glands), or disseminated disease throughout the body.  People with underlying lung disease, such as bronchiectasis or COPD, or individuals who are immunosuppressed (such as from HIV, or due to immune suppressing medications such as chemotherapy or TNF-alpha inhibitors), are at increased risk for infections with these bacteria.  Unlike tuberculosis, NTM are not thought to pass directly from person-to-person.  NTM lung disease is a major challenge for physicians to both diagnose and treat.  Testing for these bacteria in the laboratory must be done in a specialized way, and sometimes a minimally invasive procedure called a bronchoscopy is required to identify these bacteria in the lungs.   Not all people who harbor NTM will require antibiotic treatment.  People who do require treatment are prescribed prolonged courses of combination antibiotic therapy and airway clearance techniques.

Bronchiectasis is a clinical syndrome of cough, sputum production and recurrent respiratory infections that occurs in the setting of permanent damage to the airways of the lungs.  Chest imaging of people with bronchiectasis shows dilated airways, and these damaged airways are not able to clear mucus and infections appropriately.  Once structural lung disease and airflow obstruction develop in bronchiectasis, there is a vicious cycle that includes chronic infection and bacterial colonization paired with failure of mucus clearance, which leads to sustained airway inflammation and further tissue damage.  There are many medical conditions that are associated with bronchiectasis, including a history of prior lung infections, congenital lung disease and immunodeficiency or rheumatologic problems, among others.  Successful care of patients with bronchiectasis includes determining the cause of bronchiectasis, teaching airway clearance techniques and managing both chronic and acute lung infections.

Scheduling an Appointment

Patients are seen on Friday mornings from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM.

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Appointments: 410-550-5864
Nurse Line: 410-550-3022
Fax: 410-500-4259

For cystic fibrosis patients, please visit the Johns Hopkins Cystic Fibrosis Center website

Our Physicians and Experts

Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

Daniel Carpenter Belz, M.D., M.P.H.

  • Co-Director of the Nontuberculosis Mycobacteria and Bronchiectasis Center
  • Assistant Professor of Medicine

Expertise: Asthma, Bronchiectasis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Mycobacterial lung disease, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

Advanced Practitioner

Meghan Ramsay profile picture

Meghan Ramsay, RN, CRNP, CCM
Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Case Manager
Lead Nurse Practitioner, Director of Outpatient Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy

Expertise, Disease and Conditions: Bronchiectasis, Mycobacterial Lung Disease

Infectious Disease

  • Elisa Helen Ignatius, M.D., M.Sc.

    • Assistant Professor of Medicine
    • Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences

    Expertise: Infectious Disease

  • Christopher Kirk Lippincott, M.D., M.P.H.

    • Clinical Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Nontuberculous Mycobacteria and Bronchiectasis
    • Assistant Professor of Medicine

    Expertise: Bronchiectasis, HIV/AIDS, Infectious Diseases, Lyme Disease, Mycobacterial lung disease

Physical Therapy

Sera-Kim Huenergard, PT DPT
Fin “Albert” Mears, PT
Renee Vaughnley, PT DPT

Directions to the Bayview Campus

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
Asthma and Allergy Building
Second Floor
5501 Hopkins Bayview Circle
Baltimore, MD 21224

Google Map - Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center