The immune system has involvement in almost every facet of health and disease; inflammation contributes to heart disease and diabetes, cancers have to evade immune surveillance, and immune dysfunction lies at the heart of autoimmunity and allergy that are increasingly prevalent in western society. Infectious disease continues to confront human health and wellbeing on a global scale. Only an improved understanding of the mechanisms by which microorganisms cause disease will result in the development of diagnostic, therapeutic and preventative strategies to combat this threat.