The genus Cryptococcus includes free-developing species, a few of which are of medical importance. Some, such as C. neoformans and C. gattii, cause infections in man frequently and C. albidus and C. laurentii cause less so. The aims of this study were to evaluate organ colonization after inoculation of C. albidus and C. laurentii isolates in normal BALB/c mice, the virulence factors (growth at 37 degrees C, capsule, melanin, proteinase, and phospholipase production) and the molecular profile (PCR-fingerprinting) of the yeasts before and after infection. The importance of different profiles (virulence and molecular) was considered in relation to the distribution in different organs and to the time intervals of isolation from organs. C. albidus was isolated from animal organs 2 to 10 days after inoculation and C. laurentii from 2 to 120 days. Most isolates of the two species kept the virulence factors showed before inoculation. The high homogeneity of the molecular profile of C. albidus and the high heterogeneity of C. laurentii were kept through the passages in animals. It is concluded that most isolates of both species were recovered from the animal organs after 5 or more days, and phenotypes were not altered by inoculation. No molecular alteration was detected and the virulence factors were not related to the time intervals before isolation from organs.