The effects of dietary mannan oligosaccharides (MOS; 4 g kg−1; Bio-Mos, Alltech Inc, USA) in diets for European sea bass, Dicentrarchus labrax (L.), juveniles in relation to disease and stress resistance, combining intestinal infection with Vibrio anguillarum and stress challenge by confinement, were assessed in this study. After 8 weeks of MOS supplementation, fish were exposed to a pathogen challenge test against V. anguillarum by direct gut inoculation combined with a confinement stressor panel. Cumulative mortality of fish fed MOS caused by anally inoculated V. anguillarum decreased from 66% to 12.5% and from 54.1% to 25% in infected and infected + stressed fish, respectively, compared to fish fed control diet. Results for European sea bass revealed a positive effect of MOS dietary inclusion on disease resistance, in terms of cumulative mortality, against gut inoculated V. anguillarum, as well as reduced effects of stress on microbiota diversity. Both of these findings, together with the enhanced innate immune response and the higher gut mucus production and density of eosinophil granulocytes in gut mucosa obtained in previous studies after MOS supplementation (Torrecillas et al. 2007, 2011a,b) suggest that general reinforcement of the innate immune system, and particularly of the intestinal barrier efficiency, is the main defence mechanism of European sea bass fed MOS against pathogenic microorganisms.