Pneumonia is the leading infectious cause of mortality worldwide and one of the most common lower respiratory tract infections that is contributing significantly to the burden of antibiotic consumption. Due to the complexity of its pathophysiology, it is widely accepted that clinical diagnosis and prognosis are inadequate for the accurate assessment of the severity of the disease. The most challenging task for a physician is the risk stratification of patients with community-acquired pneumonia. Herein, early diagnosis is essential in order to reduce hospitalization and mortality. Procalcitonin and C-reactive protein remain the most widely used biomarkers, while interleukin 6 has been of particular interest in the literature. However, none of them appear to be ideal, and the search for novel biomarkers that will most sufficiently predict the severity and treatment response in pneumonia has lately intensified. Although our insight has significantly increased over the last years, a translational approach with the application of genomics, metabolomics, microbiomics, and proteomics is required to better understand the disease. In this review, we discuss this rapidly evolving area and summarize the application of novel biomarkers that appear to be promising for the accurate diagnosis and risk stratification of pneumonia.
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