In the present study the effect of the indole alkaloid ibogaine on the in vitro lipolytic activity and adherence to epithelial cells of Candida albicans was investigated. The substance was administered intraperitoneally at a dose of 5 mg kg(-1) day(-1) in mice with disseminated and gastrointestinal C. albicans infections. Ibogaine significantly decreased the rate of mortality and the number of C. albicans c.f.u. recovered from the kidney, liver and spleen. Ibogaine interfered with the early stages of both disseminated and gastrointestinal C. albicans infections but did not reduce the number of C. albicans c.f.u. in the organs at the late phase of infections. The development of a specific immune response was not influenced by ibogaine, since the delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction to C. albicans and the production of interferon (IFN)-gamma were similar in control and ibogaine-treated mice. The combined use of amphotericin B plus ibogaine in the treatment of mice with gastrointestinal infection reduced organ colonization more strongly than each substance alone.