Pre- or post-treatment of duodenal discs with mannose, N-acetylglucosamine or chitin soluble extracts (CSE) prevented the adherence of Candida albicans to gastrointestinal tract. CSE was the most effective in blocking the adherence of C. albicans. Treatment of infant mice with saccharides significantly reduced the systemic spread of C. albicans inoculated into the gut. The best protection was obtained when the saccharides were given 2 days prior to the infection and continued over the course of the infection. However, systemic spread was reduced with a single dose of saccharide 30 min before infection. The saccharides may bind to the gastrointestinal mucosa and block the attachment of C. albicans.