Over the last decade, significant advances have been made in the management of bacterial and viral infections in the immunocompromised host. These advances have been achieved through carefully performed studies, addressing the need for early antimicrobial therapy. The utilization of the empiric antibacterial therapy has prompted a significant decrease in mortality and morbidity from life-threatening bacterial infections in the immunocompromised patients. Similarly, the development of antivirals for therapy of herpes virus infections in man is significantly changing our ability to improve survival in children who suffer from chickenpox and progressive herpes simplex virus infections. The future demands improved anti-bacterial agents as well as methods of prevention of viral infections in the immunosuppressed host. These latter avenues will take the form of live attenuated viral vaccines.