Abstract To evaluate the potential probiotic effect of two bacterial strains towards Artemia cultured in different gnotobiotic conditions, challenge tests were performed with a virulent Vibrio campbellii or with an opportunistic Vibrio proteolyticus strain. For that purpose, three feed sources (different isogenic Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutant strains) were chosen, yielding distinct Artemia culture performances. Both bacterial strains, selected from previous well-performing Artemia cultures, were able to protect against the opportunistic V. proteolyticus, while, generally, these bacteria could not protect Artemia against V. campbellii. The quality of the feed provided (in the form of the isogenic mnn9 yeast mutant) to Artemia had a stronger influence on nauplii protection against the opportunistic and the virulent Vibrio than the addition of beneficial bacteria. This feed has a higher nutritional value for Artemia, but contains also more cell wall bound β-glucans and chitin. Data suggest that the change in the cell wall composition, rather than the overall better nutritional value, of the mnn9 strain is responsible for the protection against both Vibrios.