Tissue damage in the kidney and brain after systemic infection with Candida albicans was examined in recombinant inbred strains (AKXL) derived from AKR and C57/L progenitors. Nine of the 15 strains showed mild (C57/L-like) tissue damage. Of the remainder, two strains developed lesions comparable to the AKR parental strain, whereas four exhibited a much move severe pattern of tissue damage. This was characterized by pronounced mycelial growth in the brain, and gross oedema of the kidney, with extensive fungal colonization and marked tissue destruction. The presence of the null allele of the haemolytic complement gene (Hc) may be necessary but not sufficient, for the expression of the very severe lesions. The results were interpreted as reflecting the actions of two independent genes, which have been designated Carg1 and Carg2 (Candida albicans resistance genes 1 and 2). (C) 1997 Academic Press Limited.