The application of transcriptomics to study host–pathogen interactions has already brought important insights into the mechanisms of pathogenesis, and is expanding further keeping pace with the accumulation of genomic sequences of host organisms (human and economically important organisms such as food crops) and their pathogens (viruses, bacteria, fungi and protozoa). In this review, we introduce SuperSAGE, a substantially improved variant of serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE), as a potent tool for the transcriptomics of host–pathogen interactions. Notably, the generation of 26 bp tags in the SuperSAGE procedure allows to decipher the ‘interaction transcriptome’, i.e. the simultaneous monitoring of quantitative gene expression, of both a host and one of its eukaryotic pathogens. The potential of SuperSAGE tags for a rapid functional analysis of target genes is also discussed.