Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are unique innate-like T cells that bridge innate and adaptive immunity. They are activated by conserved bacterial ligands derived from vitamin B biosynthesis and have important roles in defence against bacterial and viral infections. However, they can also have various deleterious and protective functions in autoimmune, inflammatory and metabolic diseases. MAIT cell involvement in a large spectrum of pathological conditions makes them attractive targets for potential therapeutic approaches.