The Toll pathway regulates the cellular response to infection via the transcriptional upregulation of antimicrobial peptides. In , apart from its role in innate immunity, this pathway has also been reported to be important for the elimination of loser cells in a process referred to as cell competition, which can be locally triggered by secreted factors released from winner cells. In this work, we provide evidence that the inhibition of Toll signaling not only increases the fitness of loser cells, but also bestows a clonal growth advantage on wild-type cells. We further demonstrate that this growth advantage depends on basal infection levels since it is no longer present under axenic conditions but exacerbated upon intense pathogen exposure. Thus, the Toll pathway functions as a fine-tuned pro-apoptotic and anti-proliferative regulator, underlining the existence of a trade-off between innate immunity and growth during development.