Abstract C-type lectins play important roles in the innate immune system of crustaceans. In this study, a novel C-type lectin gene, designated as PcLec4, was obtained from the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii). Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction revealed that PcLec4 is mainly expressed in the crayfish hepatopancreas and intestine, and the PcLec4 mRNA expression is upregulated after challenged with the bacteria Vibrio anguillarum. PcLec4 was recombinantly expressed in Escherichia coli and anti-PcLec4 polyclonal antiserum was prepared. Binding experiments revealed that the recombinant PcLec4 binds to various bacteria and polysaccharides on the bacterial surface, which suggests that PcLec4 recognizes bacterial pathogens. Overexpression of PcLec4 in crayfish using the pIeLec4 vector was performed. The results show that the crayfish overexpressing PcLec4 eliminate injected V. anguillarum more quickly than the control, which suggests that PcLec4 elicits further immune response for removing invading bacteria. The results of the survival experiment confirmed the function of PcLec4 in resisting V. anguillarum because PcLec4 overexpression in crayfish significantly increased the crayfish survival rate. These results reveal that PcLec4 has an important role in the antibacterial immunity of crayfish, and in vivo PcLec4 overexpression might be used as a disease control strategy in aquiculture.