The putative protective role of the exopolysaccharide (EPS)-producing Lactobacillus paraplantarum BGCG11, and its non-EPS-producing isogenic strain NB1, was tested upon HT29-MTX monolayers challenged with seven opportunistic pathogens. The probiotic strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus LMG18243 (GG) was used as a reference bacterium. Tested lactobacilli were able to efficiently reduce the attachment to HT29-MTX of most pathogens. Lb. paraplantarum NB1 and Lb. rhamnosus GG were more efficient reducing the adhesion of Clostridium difficile or Yersinia enterocolitica than Lb. paraplantarum BGCG11, while strain BGCG11 reduced, to a greater extent, the adhesion of Escherichia coli and Listeria monocytogenes. The detachment and cell lysis of HT29-MTX monolayers in the presence of pathogens alone and co-incubated with lactobacilli or purified EPS was followed. L. monocytogenes induced the strongest cell detachment among the seven tested pathogens and this effect was prevented by addition of purified EPS-CG11. The results suggest that this EPS could be an effective macromolecule in protection of HT29-MTX cells from the pathogen-induced lysis. Regarding innate intestinal barrier, the presence of C. difficile induced the highest IL-8 production in HT29-MTX cells and this capability was reinforced by the co-incubation with Lb. paraplantarum NB1 and Lb. rhamnosus GG. However, the increase in IL-8 production was not noticed when C. difficile was co-incubated with EPS-producing Lb. paraplantarum BGCG11 strain or its purified EPS-CG11 polymer, thus indicating that the polymer could hinder the contact of bacteria with the intestinal epithelium. The measurement of mucus secreted by HT29-MTX and the expression of muc1, muc2, muc3B and muc5AC genes in the presence of pathogens and lactobacilli suggested that all lactobacilli strains are weak "co-adjuvants" helping some pathogens to slightly increase the secretion of mucus by HT29-MTX, while purified EPS-CG11 did not induce mucus secretion. Taking altogether, Lb. paraplantarum BGCG11 could act towards the reinforcement of the innate mucosal barrier through the synthesis of a physical-protective EPS layer which could make difficult the contact of the pathogens with the epithelial cells.