Activation of the innate immune system by interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma is crucial for host resistance to infection. IFN-gamma induces the expression of a wide range of mediators that undermine the ability of pathogens to survive in host cells, including a newly discovered family of 47-kDa GTPases. Elimination of different p47 GTPases in mice by gene targeting severely cripples IFN-gamma-regulated defence against Toxoplasma gondii, Listeria monocytogenes, Mycobacterium spp. and other pathogens. In this article, we review our understanding of the role of p47 GTPases in resistance to intracellular infection and discuss the present evidence concerning their mode of action.