Mice depleted of T-lymphocytes by thymectomy and irradiation (TXB) and immunologically competent mice were compared for gross and histological pathology as well as immune responses after cutaneous and/or intravenous challenge with Candida albicans. In response to a first cutaneous inoculation with viable Candida, TXB, sham-operated (SXB), and unmanipulated (normal) mice, all developed lesions of comparable size, duration, and histopathology. When challenged a second time cutaneously, normal and SXB mice developed lesions which were greatly increased in size when compared with those produced by a first cutaneous infection, whereas TXB mice developed lesions comparable in size to those initiated by the first infection. Histologically, the first and second lesions in all animals were acute abscesses predominantly comprised of polymorphonuclear leukocytes. The larger second lesions in SXB and normal mice were accompanied by detectable circulating antibody and by delayed hypersensitivity. Neither circulating antibody nor delayed hypersensitivity were stimulated in the TXB mice. When challenged intravenously, all previously uninfected mice, regardless of T-cell status, were equally susceptible to C. albicans. Contrary to SXB or normal mice, however, TXB mice which had been infected cutaneously were not more resistant to a subsequent intravenous challenge as judged by 6-week survival. The results suggest that T-cells do not play a significant role in innate resistance of mice to systemic candidiasis, but that such cells are important in the development of acquired resistance.