Dendritic cell (DC) subsets and macrophages are located in mucosal tissues to identify intruding pathogens. In order to do so, these innate immune cells express patter recognition receptors (PRR), including various C-type lectin receptors (CLR) and Toll-like receptors (TLR) on the cell surface and cytosolic RIG-I-like receptors (RLR) for pathogen sensing. Infectious diseases are defined by the interactions between pathogens and the host. Whereas the immune system aims to control the infection, the pathogen intends to survive and spread. Innate immune cells and the PRRs expressed by these cells are therefore pivotal in this interplay. Annelies Mesman investigates the role of DCs in measles virus (MV) infection, another DC subset, Langerhans cells (LCs), in HIV-1 transmission and macrophages in ‘Candida Albicans’ responses.