A recombinant Lactobacillus casei expressing a flagellar antigen from Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis was constructed and evaluated as a mucosal vaccine. Intragastric immunization of the recombinant strain conferred protective immunity against Salmonella infection in mice. This immunization did not result in antigen-specific antibody in either feces or sera but induced the release of IFN-γ on restimulation of primed lymphocytes ex vivo. The results suggested that the protective efficacy provided by flagellin-expressing L. casei is mainly attributable to cell-mediated immune responses. In addition, an adjuvant-type effect of the antigen delivery system with L. casei was also observed. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.