In this review we discuss intracellular bacteria as targets and carriers for vaccines. For clarity and ease of comprehension, we focus on three microbes, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella, with an emphasis on tuberculosis, one of the leading causes of death from infectious disease. Novel vaccination strategies against these pathogens are currently being considered. One approach favors the use of live attenuated vaccines and vaccine carrier strains thereof, either for heterologous antigen presentation or DNA vaccine delivery. This strategy includes both the improvement of attenuated vaccine strains as well as the 'de novo' generation of attenuated variants of virulent pathogens. An alternative strategy relies on the application of subunit immunizations, either as nucleic acid vaccines or protein antigens of the pathogen. Finally, we present a short summary of the vaccination strategies against tuberculosis.