Bacterial pneumonia is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality within the United States and abroad. Although broad-spectrum antibiotic regiments have led to advances in the treatment of pneumonia, this approach has resulted in the recent emergence of multidrug-resistant bacteria. This adverse effect of aggressive antibiotic therapy underscores the importance for understanding the host inflammatory response to pulmonary bacterial infections. This knowledge can then lead to the development of therapeutic modalities aimed at augmenting host responses, resulting in enhanced resolution of bacterial pneumonia. Ideally, future treatment would combine immunoadjuvant and conventional antibiotic therapy for the treatment of life-threatening bacterial pneumonia. The detailed study of several distinct animal models of bacterial pneumonia has identified cytokines involved in eradication of bacteria deposited within the pulmonary airspace. Furthermore, these studies have led to promising preliminary findings in animal models using therapeutic cytokine immunotherapy.