In order to infect pathogens must breach the epithelial barriers that separate the organism from the external environment or that cover the internal cavities and ducts of the body. Epithelia seal the passage through the paracellular pathway with the apical junctional complex integrated by tight and adherens junctions. In this review we describe how viruses like coxsackie, swine vesicular disease virus, adenovirus, reovirus, feline calcivirus, herpes viruses 1 and 2, pseudorabies, bovine herpes virus 1, poliovirus and hepatitis C use as cellular receptors integral proteins present at the AJC of epithelial cells. Interaction with these proteins contributes in a significant manner in defining the particular tropism of each virus. Besides these proteins, viruses exhibit a wide range of cellular co-receptors among which proteins present in the basolateral cell surface like integrins are often found. Therefore targeting proteins of the AJC constitutes a strategy that might allow viruses to bypass the physical barrier that blocks their access to receptors expressed on the basolateral surface of epithelial cells.