There is a growing appreciation for the importance of the gut microbiota as a therapeutic target in various diseases. However, there are only a handful of known commensal strains that can potentially be used to manipulate host physiological functions. Here we isolate a consortium of 11 bacterial strains from healthy human donor faeces that is capable of robustly inducing interferon-γ-producing CD8 T cells in the intestine. These 11 strains act together to mediate the induction without causing inflammation in a manner that is dependent on CD103+ dendritic cells and major histocompatibility (MHC) class Ia molecules. Colonization of mice with the 11-strain mixture enhances both host resistance against Listeria monocytogenes infection and the therapeutic efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors in syngeneic tumour models. The 11 strains primarily represent rare, low-abundance components of the human microbiome, and thus have great potential as broadly effective biotherapeutics.