The mammalian immune system senses pathogens through pattern recognition receptors (PRR) and responds with activation. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) that are expressed on immune and non-immune cells play a critical role in this process. As part of the innate immune response, TLRs lead to cellular activation and cytokine production with subsequent initiation of an adaptive immune response. TLR7-9 recognize single-stranded RNA, nucleoside analogs and single-stranded CpG-DNA, respectively, and their activation initiates the immune response against viruses and bacteria. Furthermore, the stimulation of these TLRs may be exploited for adjuvant therapy, vaccination and anti-tumor responses. However, a role in the generation or perpetuation of autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) has also been suggested.