The intestinal barrier plays an extremely important role in maintaining the immune homeostasis of the gut and the entire body. It is made up of an intricate system of cells, mucus and intestinal microbiota. A complex system of proteins allows the selective permeability of elements that are safe and necessary for the proper nutrition of the body. Disturbances in the tightness of this barrier result in the penetration of toxins and other harmful antigens into the system. Such events lead to various digestive tract dysfunctions, systemic infections, food intolerances and autoimmune diseases. Pathogenic and probiotic bacteria, and the compounds they secrete, undoubtedly affect the properties of the intestinal barrier. The discovery of zonulin, a protein with tight junction regulatory activity in the epithelia, sheds new light on the understanding of the role of the gut barrier in promoting health, as well as the formation of diseases. Coincidentally, there is an increasing number of reports on treatment methods that target gut microbiota, which suggests that the prevention of gut-barrier defects may be a viable approach for improving the condition of COVID-19 patients. Various bacteria–intestinal barrier interactions are the subject of this review, aiming to show the current state of knowledge on this topic and its potential therapeutic applications.