Cryptococcosis, caused by an encapsulated fungus, Cryptococcus neoformans, has emerged as a life-threatening infection in HIV-positive individuals and other immunocompromised hosts. This report describes an unusual strain of C. neoformans isolated from an AIDS patient that developed pigment on Sabouraud's medium. The yeast was auxotrophic for adenine due to a deletion in the coding region of ADE2, and was complemented by introduction of a functional copy of the ADE2 gene from C. neoformans. The yeast had an unusual myelotropism that was clinically evident as a pancytopenia with displacement of bone marrow precursors by yeast cells, and it had an unusual spectrum of infection in the human host. This is the first description of a nutritional auxotroph of C. neoformans isolated from a patient.