Infectious diseases and fish feeds management are probably the major expenses in the aquaculture business. Hence, it is a priority to define sustainable strategies which simultaneously avoid therapeutic procedures and reinforce fish immunity. Currently, one preferred approach is the use of immunostimulants which can be supplemented to the fish diets. Arginine is a versatile amino acid with important mechanisms closely related to the immune response. Aiming at finding out how arginine affects the innate immune status or improve disease resistance of European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax) against vibriosis, fish were fed two arginine-supplemented diets (1% and 2% arginine supplementation). A third diet meeting arginine requirement level for seabass served as control diet. Following 15 or 29 days of feeding, fish were sampled for blood, spleen and gut to assess cell-mediated immune parameters and immune-related gene expression. At the same time, fish from each dietary group were challenged against Vibrio anguillarum and survival was monitored. Cell-mediated immune parameters such as the extracellular superoxide and nitric oxide decreased in fish fed arginine-supplemented diets. Interleukins and immune-cell marker transcripts were down-regulated by the highest supplementation level. Disease resistance data were in accordance with a generally depressed immune status, with increased susceptibility to vibriosis in fish fed arginine supplemented diets. Altogether, these results suggest a general inhibitory effect of arginine on the immune defences and disease resistance of European seabass. Still, further research will certainly clarify arginine immunomodulation pathways thereby allowing the validation of its potential as a prophylactic strategy.