Porins form channels allowing the transport of molecules across lipid bilayer membranes. Their structure, location and large number on the bacterial surface lend them multiple functions. Porin loops are potential targets for adhesion to other cells and binding of bactericidal compounds to the surface of Gram-negative bacteria. Variation of the loop structure as a mechanism to escape immune pressure, or modulation of the porin expression in response to the presence of antibiotics, are survival strategies developed by some pathogenic bacteria. Porins may play a significant role as pathogenesis effectors.