Clostridium difficile is the leading cause of hospital-acquired diarrhoea worldwide, and if the bacterium is not cleared effectively it can pose a risk of recurrent infections and complications such as colitis, sepsis and death. In this study we demonstrate that surface layer proteins from the one of the most frequently acquired strains of C. difficile, activate mechanisms in murine macrophage in vitro that are associated with clearance of bacterial infection. Surface layer proteins (SLPs) isolated from C. difficile induced the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines and increased macrophage migration and phagocytotic activity in vitro. Furthermore, we also observed up-regulation of a number of cell surface markers on the macrophage, which are important in pathogen recognition and antigen presentation. The effects of SLPs on macrophages were reversed in the presence of a p38 inhibitor, indicating the potential importance of this signalling protein in how SLP activates the immune system. In conclusion this study shows that surface layer proteins from a common strain of C. difficile can activate a clearance response in macrophage and suggests that these proteins are important in clearance of C. difficile infection. Understanding how the immune system clears C. difficile infection could offer important insights for new treatment strategies.