Microbial infections of the lung are a major concern to humans and the health care systems worldwide as the current Covid19 pandemic demonstrates impressively. Viruses can cause severe epidemics resulting in significant morbidity and mortality. Currently available rodent models have several limitations in the analysis of the pathogenesis of infections, e.g. some bacterial toxins strongly act in a species-specific manner. Further, lung anatomy and physiology as well as composition of the immune system differ significantly between rodents and men. The lecture will present novel in vitro approaches and strategies to overcome limitations in lung infectious disease research and tackling the translational gap between animal testing and human clinical trials.