Purpose of reviewPneumonia is the main global cause of sepsis, and has been associated with high morbidity and high short and long-term mortality rates. As it may be caused by a wide spectrum of microorganisms, microbial diagnosis is challenging and the choice of adequate therapy remains an important problem. This review focuses on recently published studies of microbiological diagnostic tests and clinical assessments for pneumonia, including community-acquired pneumonia, hospital-acquired pneumonia, and ventilator-associated pneumonia.Recent findingsOver the past decade, the microbiological diagnosis of pneumonia has improved significantly - thanks to the development and implementation of molecular diagnostic tests for identifying the most frequent pathogens causing pneumonia and for determining their patterns of resistance. Molecular methods for the diagnosis of pneumonia focus on multiple target detection systems and pathogen detection arrays, and, more recently, have been used in combination with mass spectrometry.SummaryThe implementation of rapid diagnostic techniques in routine clinical practice able to identify and determine the resistance patterns of the causative microbes may transform the management of pneumonia, improving the selection and administration of antimicrobial therapies especially in critically ill patients. The validation of new diagnostic technology platforms is crucial in order to assess their usefulness and to guide antimicrobial treatment in this population.
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