Lower respiratory tract infections remain one of the most common causes of mortality worldwide, which is why early diagnosis is crucial. Traditionally the microbiological diagnosis of these infections has been based on conventional methods including culture on artificial media for isolation of bacteria and fungi and cell cultures for virus and antibody or antigen detection using antigen-antibody reactions. The main drawback of the above mentioned methods is the time needed for an etiological diagnosis of the infection. The techniques based on molecular biology have drawn much attention in recent decades as tools for rapid diagnosis of infections. Some techniques are very expensive, especially those that can detect various microorganisms in the same reaction, therefore the question that arises is whether the cost of such testing is justified by the information obtained and by the clinical impact that its implementation will determine. In this article we make a review of the various techniques of molecular biology applied to the diagnosis of pneumonia and focus primarily on analysing the impact they may have on the management of patients with acute respiratory tract infections.