Emerging evidence suggests that dendritic cells play a major role in the orchestration of the immune response to bacteria. This volume introduces the reader to the complex world of dendritic cells and describes how the intimate interplay between dendritic cells, bacteria and the environment dictates either the induction of immunity or tolerance to the encountered microorganisms. It discusses how this can allow organisms to tolerate beneficial bacteria and to react against pathogens, as well as the strategies pathogenic bacteria have evolved to escape dendritic cell patrolling. Expert contributors discuss everything from bacterial capture and recognition to their killing, processing and the induction of adaptive immunity. Particular focus is on the tissue context in which bacteria are handled by dendritic cells and on possible defects therein, which may potentially lead to chronic infection or inflammation. Graduate students and researchers will find this an invaluable overview of current dendritic cell biology research.