In a retrospective evaluation. the incidence of systemic fungal infections (SFIs) in 296 kidney graft recipients admitted to our center between 1986 and 1999 was found to be 4%. Eighteen percent of 28 recipients transplanted in India and 8% of 12 recipients transplanted in Russia developed SFI. In contrast, SFI was encountered in only 2% of recipients transplanted at our center. The median time of diagnosis of SFI was 5 months after transplantation. The lungs and central nervous system were the most frequently affected sites. The most common etiologic agent was Aspergillus fumigatus (n=7) but Candida spp. (n = 1), Rhizopus spp. (n = 1) and Cryptococcus neoformans (n = 1) were also encountered. In 2 patients, 2 different pathogens were isolated at the same time: A. fumigatus and Rhizopus spp. in I patient and Candida spp. and A. fumigatus in another. In order to determine predisposing factors for SFI, patients admitted immediately before and after those with SFI were used as controls: long-term hospitalization, long-term antibiotic use and post-transplant diabetes mellitus were found to be predisposing factors. Eight patients were treated with antifungal drugs and a good response to liposomal amphotericin B therapy was obtained in 3/5. Nine patients (75%) with SFI died. As SFIs are associated with a high mortality rate in renal transplant recipients, antifungal therapy, especially with liposomal amphotericin B, should be started whenever fungal infection is suspected, even before the results of microbiologic and/or histologic examinations are known.