Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are known to have effects on immune function. From 203 strains of LAB isolated from fermented foods, we selected a beneficial strain, Lactobacillus plantarum strain YU (LpYU), which has high interleukin (IL)-12-inducing activity in mouse peritoneal macrophages. This activity of LpYU was partially mediated by Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2, but not TLR4 or TLR9. Oral administration of LpYU to ovalbumin (OVA)-immunized mice caused suppression of serum OVA-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels, enhancing interferon (IFN)-γ production from spleen cells in response to OVA. Furthermore, LpYU enhanced natural killer cell activity in spleen cells and the production of IgA from Peyer's patch cells. Because activation of Th1 immune responses and IgA production induce antiviral effects, we evaluated the inhibitory effects of LpYU against the influenza A virus (A/NWS/33, H1N1) (IFV). Oral administration of LpYU suppressed viral proliferation in the lungs and in bronchoalveolar lavage fluids (BALFs). Both levels of IFV-specific secretory IgA in BALF and feces and titers of IFV-specific neutralizing antibody in BALFs and sera were increased. These results indicate that LpYU has a protective effect against IFV replication. We conclude that this strain has a beneficial effect in activating Th1 immune responses and preventing viral infection.