The human fungal pathogen, Candida albicans, has three putative histidine kinases showing homology to those of plants, bacteria and other fungi. We have constructed a homozygous deletion strain and a hemizygous reconstituted strain of one of these histidine-kinase-encoding genes, COS-1, in C. albicans. Neither strain showed any growth defect in a number of liquid media nor increased resistance or sensitivity to a number of antifungal drugs. Importantly, we show that the COS-1 homozygous disruption strain had significantly reduced virulence in a systemic murine model of candidosis. Thus, COS-1 appears to be an in vivo virulence factor and may represent a novel target for the development of antifungal drugs.