To further understand the contribution of feedstuff ingredients to gut health in swine, gut histology and intestinal bacterial profiles associated with the use of two high-quality protein sources, microbially enhanced soybean meal (MSBM) and Menhaden fishmeal (FM) were assessed. Weaned pigs were fed one of three experimental diets: (1) basic diet containing corn and soybean meal (Negative Control (NEG)), (2) basic diet + fishmeal (FM; Positive Control (POS)) and (3) basic diet + MSBM (MSBM). Phase I POS and MSBM diets (d 0 to d 7 post-wean) included FM or MSBM at 7.5%, while Phase II POS and MSBM diets (d 8 to d 21) included FM or MSBM at 5.0%. Gastrointestinal tissue and ileal digesta were collected from euthanised pigs at d 21 (eight pigs/diet) to assess gut histology and intestinal bacterial profiles, respectively. Data were analysed using Proc Mixed in SAS, with pig as the experimental unit and pig (treatment) as the random effect. Histological and immunohistochemical analyses of stomach and small intestinal tissue using haematoxylin–eosin, Periodic Acid Schiff/Alcian blue and inflammatory cell staining did not reveal detectable differences in host response to dietary treatment. Ileal bacterial composition profiles were obtained from next-generation sequencing of PCR generated amplicons targeting the V1 to V3 regions of the 16S rRNA gene. Lactobacillus-affiliated sequences were found to be the most highly represented across treatments, with an average relative abundance of 64.0%, 59.9% and 41.80% in samples from pigs fed the NEG, POS and MSBM diets, respectively. Accordingly, the three most abundant Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) were affiliated to Lactobacillus, showing a distinct abundance pattern relative to dietary treatment. One OTU (SD_Ssd_00001), most closely related to Lactobacillus amylovorus, was found to be more abundant in NEG and POS samples compared to MSBM (23.5% and 35.0% v. 9.2%). Another OTU (SD_Ssd_00002), closely related to Lactobacillus johnsonii, was more highly represented in POS and MSBM samples compared to NEG (14.0% and 15.8% v. 0.1%). Finally, OTU Sd_Ssd-00011, highest sequence identity to Lactobacillus delbrueckii, was found in highest abundance in ileal samples from MSBM-fed pigs (1.9% and 3.3% v. 11.3, in POS, NEG and MSBM, respectively). There was no effect of protein source on bacterial taxa to the genus level or diversity based on principal component analysis. Dietary protein source may provide opportunity to enhance presence of specific members of Lactobacillus genus that are associated with immune-modulating properties without altering overall intestinal bacterial diversity.