This study retrospectively reviews infections over a 7-year period in 60 consecutive adults (median age 25 years) undergoing their first unrelated donor bone marrow transplant (UD-BMT). T-cell depletion was employed in 93%. More than half the patients had one or more severe, potentially life-threatening, infections. There was a high incidence of invasive fungal infections (Aspergillus 17, Candida four), despite the use of itraconazole or amphotericin prophylaxis. Ten Aspergillus infections occurred beyond 100 d. Two patients (11%) with invasive aspergillosis survived. Clustering of infections was noted, with invasive fungal infections significantly associated with bacteraemias (OR 3.73, P=0.06) and multiple viral infections (OR 4.25, P=0.05). There were 21 severe viral infections in 16 patients, with CMV disease occurring in four patients only; viral pneumonitis was predominantly due to 'community respiratory' viruses. Most early bacteraemias (68%) were due to Gram-positive organisms. The majority of episodes of Gram-negative sepsis were caused by non-fastidious non-fermentative bacteria, such as Pseudomonas spp. and Acinetobacter spp., historically regarded as organisms of low pathogenicity. In patients with successful engraftment and minimal graft-versus-host disease, late infections suggestive of continued immune dysfunction (shingles, recurrent lower respiratory infections, Salmonella enteritis and extensive warts) were common.