The Netherlands Antibiotic Policy Foundation issued guidelines for empirical antimicrobial therapy of adult pneumonia patients in hospitals. A distinction is made between pneumonia contracted at home or in hospital because of the differences in micro-organisms and resistance patterns. These two categories are subdivided further with an empirical antibiotic treatment being chosen on the basis of the causative agents to be expected. For instance, pneumonia contracted at home is mostly caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, to be treated with benzylpenicillin or amoxicillin. With regard to nosocomial pneumonia, treatment varies according to whether a pneumonia has or has not been contracted in the intensive care unit. Combating development of resistance is alloted an important place. Emphasis is laid on 'streamlining' the therapy, i.e. its adjustment (including choosing an antibiotic with the narrowest possible spectrum) once the causative agent is known.