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Nosocomial pneumonias are recognized as an important cause of morbidity and mortality in industrialized nations. Emerging data show that they play a similar role in the developing world. A host of extrinsic and intrinsic factors predispose individuals to the development of pneumonias, and a modification of some of these factors provides a low cost solution to prevention of pneumonias. The ideal modality for microbiologic diagnosis of pneumonia remains to be determined. Recent data suggest that there is no difference in outcome when noninvasive techniques are compared with invasive techniques. Antimicrobial resistance is a rapidly increasing problem globally, and combating this with appropriate antibiotic policies, close surveillance, and physician education is essential.