We study molecular mechanisms of the interaction and cross-talk between pathogenic bacteria and human target cells. Pathogenic bacteria use intricate strategies to exploit the host environment, such as induction of signal transduction pathways upon attachment to host epithelial cells, extensive antigenic variation of surface components, and interaction with regulators of complement activation. We aim to characterize how bacteria manipulate the host defence mechanisms to survive within the host and cause disease. Bacterial modulation of host cells during long-term infections can lead to cell damages and cancer. A better understanding of bacterial pathogenesis is a prerequisite for generation of novel therapies and vaccines against bacterial infection, which is urgently needed in the increasing occurrence of antibiotic resistance.