Pathogenic bacteria exploit a wide variety of host cellular processes to adhere to, invade, replicate within and damage host cells. One such process is the eukaryotic secretory pathway, in which proteins and lipids are modified and transported from the endoplasmic reticulum through the Golgi network to the plasma membrane and other cellular destinations. Certain bacteria secrete toxins that utilise this transport pathway to reach their cellular targets. Some intracellular pathogens, including Legionella, Brucella and Chlamydia, engage other steps of the pathway to establish intracellular replicative organelles. Recent work has implicated specific virulence proteins of enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica in secretory pathway interactions.