The aim of this work was to evaluate the ability of a kefir-isolated microbial mixture containing three bacterial and two yeast strains (MM) to protect intestinal epithelial cells against Shigella flexneri invasion, as well as to analyse the effect on pro-inflammatory response elicited by this pathogen. A significant decrease in S. flexneri strain 72 invasion was observed on both HT-29 and Caco-2 cells pre-incubated with MM. Pre-incubation with the individual strains Saccharomyces cerevisiae CIDCA 8112 or Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis CIDCA 8221 also reduced the internalisation of S. flexneri into HT-29 cells although in a lesser extent than MM. Interestingly, Lactobacillus plantarum CIDCA 83114 exerted a protective effect on the invasion of Caco-2 and HT-29 cells by S. flexneri. Regarding the pro-inflammatory response on HT-29 cells, S. flexneri infection induced a significant activation of the expression of interleukin 8 (IL-8), chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 20 (CCL20) and tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) encoding genes (P<0.05), whereas incubation of cells with MM did not induce the expression of any of the mediators assessed. Interestingly, pre-incubation of HT-29 monolayer with MM produced an inhibition of S. flexneri-induced IL-8, CCL20 and TNF-α mRNA expression. In order to gain insight on the effect of MM (or the individual strains) on this pro-inflammatory response, a series of experiments using a HT-29-NF-κB-hrGFP reporter system were performed. Pre-incubation of HT-29-NF-κB-hrGFP cells with MM significantly dampened Shigella-induced activation. Our results showed that the contribution of yeast strain Kluyveromyces marxianus CIDCA 8154 seems to be crucial in the observed effect. In conclusion, results presented in this study demonstrate that pre-treatment with a microbial mixture containing bacteria and yeasts isolated from kefir, resulted in inhibition of S. flexneri internalisation into human intestinal epithelial cells, along with the inhibition of the signalling via NF-κB that in turn led to the attenuation of the inflammatory response.