Social amoebae and humans use common strategies to orchestrate their interactions with the bacteria in their respective environments and within their bodies. These strategies include the elimination of bacteria by phagocytosis, the establishment of mutualistic interactions, the elaboration of physical barriers, and the deployment of innate immune cells. Many of the molecular mechanisms that humans and social amoebae employ differ, but there are striking similarities that may inform studies in each organism. In this topical review we highlight the similarities and consider what we might learn by comparing these highly divergent species. We focus on recent work in Dictyostelium discoideum with hopes of stimulating work in this area and with the expectation that new mechanistic details uncovered in social amoebae-bacteria interactions will inform microbiome management in humans.