A set of 46 epidemiologically related or unrelated Candida (Torulopsis) glabrata isolates from four different medical centres in Germany and Hungary, and the type strain of this species, were genetically typed by arbitrarily primed PCR (AP-PCR). The resulting band patterns of C. glabrata strains were compared with those of other species of the genus Candida including C. albicans, C. guilliermondii, C. kefyr, C. parapsilosis, C. tropicalis and C. krusei. After preliminary trials of various reaction parameters and control experiments to test the reproducibility of this method, it was found that consistently reproducible amplification patterns were obtained only when rigorously optimised and standardised reaction conditions were employed. Discriminatory abilities were studied with 29 generated 10-mer oligonucleotides of different G+C content. Typing of clinical isolates with the optimised AP-PCR protocol was then performed with the primer 50-1, with a G+C content of 50%. Sufficiently discriminatory polymorphisms were observed among the band patterns of the Candida species included. The gel electrophoresis patterns of each species showed an adequate similarity. Variations in minor bands were characteristic for comparison at the isolate level. Only three AP-PCR genotypes were identified among the clinical isolates of C. glabrata tested. Two of these genotypes were closely related and appeared to be widespread within German and Hungarian isolates. The third genotype of C. glabrata showed a distinct band pattern. With optimised, validated and standardised assay conditions, the feasibility, sensitivity and rapidity of AP-PCR may offer a discriminatory method for genotyping of yeasts in epidemiological studies, as well as in the control of nosocomial infections.