Ulcerative colitis (UC) is associated with a substantial alteration of specific gut commensals, some of which may be involved in microbiota-mediated protection. In this study, microbiota cataloging of UC patients by 16S rRNA microbial profiling revealed a marked reduction of bifidobacteria, in particular the Bifidobacterium bifidum species, thus suggesting that this taxon plays a biological role in the aetiology of UC. We investigated this further through an in vivo trial by testing the effects of oral treatment with B. bifidum PRL2010 in a wild-type murine colitis model. TNBS-treated mice receiving 10 9 cells of B. bifidum PRL2010 showed a marked reduction of all colitis-associated histological indices as well as maintenance of mucosal integrity as it was shown by the increase in the expression of many tight junction-encoding genes. The protective role of B. bifidum PRL2010, as well as its sortase-dependent pili, appears to be established through the induction of an innate immune response of the host. These results highlight the importance of B. bifidum as a microbial biomarker for UC, revealing its role in protection against experimentally induced colitis.