Pharyngitis, bronchitis, and pneumonia represent the most common respiratory tract infections. With a view to establishing effective management strategies, the origins of these illnesses and the diagnostic techniques that have been developed to discover them are reviewed. Therapeutic regimens with documented efficacy are outlined with emphasis on specific rather than empiric treatment. Although many respiratory tract pathogens remain exquisitely sensitive to penicillin, the emergence of resistant strains underscores the need for safe and effective alternative therapies.
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