Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis is the major zoonotic and intracellular pathogen. Different strategies have been developed to prevent the S. Enteritidis infection. The beta-1,3-1,6-glucan of Schizophyllum commune was used as an immunological booster to determine the minimal dietary level of beta-glucan that would restrict S. Enteritidis infection through the effects of beta-glucan on the activity of macrophages and direct physical protection of the intestine. One-day-old male Single Comb White Leghorn chicks were used in all trials. In trials 1 and 2, the 0.1% beta-1,3-1,6-glucan treatment completely eliminated the viable S. Enteritidis from spleen and liver in an oral challenge of 10(8) S. Enteritidis without any harmful effect on BW, serum proteins, and immunoglobulin. Instead of a 21-d feeding period of beta-glucan, a 14-d treatment was enough to eliminate the S. Enteritidis in spleen and liver. In trial 3, an increase in the relative weight of bursa of Fabricius and phytohemagglutinin-P-inducing cutaneous basophil hypersensitivity was observed (P < 0.05). In trials 2, 3, and 4, the direct or indirect effect of beta-1,3-1,6-glucan on abdominal macrophages was examined. Sterilized 3% Sephadex G-50 was injected to induce abdominal (peritoneal) phagocytes in chicks fed with or without 0.1% beta-1,3-1,6-glucan. Significantly increased phagocytic and bactericidal capability to S. Enteritidis was found in abdominal macrophages either pretreated or in vitro treated with 0.1% beta-1,3-1,6-glucan. In conclusion, in addition to the physical properties to block S. Enteritidis entrance, 0.1% dietary beta-1,3-1,6-glucan may enhance the host defense to S. Enteritidis by directly upregulating the phagocytosis and bactericidal activity of abdominal macrophages in chicks.