Innate immunity is the first line of defense against infections. Pathways regulating innate responses can also modulate other processes, including stress resistance and longevity. Increasing evidence suggests a role for the nucleolus in regulating cellular processes implicated in health and disease. Here we show the highly conserved nucleolar protein, fibrillarin, is a vital factor regulating pathogen resistance. Fibrillarin knockdown enhances resistance in C. elegans against bacterial pathogens, higher levels of fibrillarin induce susceptibility to infection. Pathogenic infection reduces nucleolar size, ribsosomal RNA, and fibrillarin levels. Genetic epistasis reveals fibrillarin functions independently of the major innate immunity mediators, suggesting novel mechanisms of pathogen resistance. Bacterial infection also reduces nucleolar size and fibrillarin levels in mammalian cells. Fibrillarin knockdown prior to infection increases intracellular bacterial clearance, reduces inflammation, and enhances cell survival. Collectively, these findings reveal an evolutionarily conserved role of fibrillarin in infection resistance and suggest the nucleolus as a focal point in innate immune responses.