Innate immunity represents the first line of defence against pathogens and plays key roles in activation and orientation of the adaptive immune response. The innate immune system comprises both a cellular and a humoral arm. Components of the humoral arm include soluble pattern recognition molecules (PRMs) that recognise pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and initiate the immune response in coordination with the cellular arm, therefore acting as functional ancestors of antibodies. The long pentraxin PTX3 is a prototypic soluble PRM that is produced at sites of infection and inflammation by both somatic and immune cells. Gene targeting of this evolutionarily conserved protein has revealed a nonredundant role in resistance to selected pathogens. Moreover, PTX3 exerts important functions at the cross-road between innate immunity, inflammation, and female fertility. Here, we review the studies on PTX3, with emphasis on pathogen recognition and cross-talk with other components of the innate immune system.