© 2017 The Author(s). Probiotics can prevent pathological bacterial translocation by modulating intestinal microbiota and improving the gut barrier. The aim was to evaluate the effect of a fermented milk containing Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei CNCM I-1518 on bacterial translocation in rats with carbon tetrachloride (CCl 4)-induced cirrhosis. Sprague-Dawley rats treated with CCl 4 were randomized into a probiotic group that received fermented milk containing Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei CNCM I-1518 in drinking water or a water group that received water only. Laparotomy was performed one week after ascites development. We evaluated bacterial translocation, intestinal microbiota, the intestinal barrier and cytokines in mesenteric lymph nodes and serum. Bacterial translocation decreased and gut dysbiosis improved in the probiotic group compared to the water group. The ileal β-defensin-1 concentration was higher and ileal malondialdehyde levels were lower in the probiotic group than in water group. There were no differences between groups in serum cytokines but TNF-α levels in mesenteric lymph nodes were lower in the probiotic group than in the water group. Fermented milk containing Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei CNCM I-1518 decreases bacterial translocation, gut dysbiosis and ileal oxidative damage and increases ileal β-defensin-1 expression in rats treated with CCl 4, suggesting an improvement in the intestinal barrier integrity.