The diversity in virulence of different Aspergillus fumigatus strains was studied in an experimental murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) and the results were correlated with possession of a putative molecular marker of virulence. Seven strains from different patients with non-invasive or invasive aspergillosis and four environmental strains were typed by PCR with specific primers and scored as positive or negative, according to whether or not a 0.95-kb DNA fragment was amplified. Immunosuppressed mice were inoculated intranasally with A. fumigatus conidia from these different strains. The mortality curves revealed differences in virulence between the strains. The environmental strains produced a weaker infection than the strains from patients and the 0.95-kb-positive patient strains caused significantly higher mortality rates in mice than the 0.95-kb-negative patient strains. These findings support the hypothesis that certain isolates of A. fumigatus are more virulent than others and that their virulence appears to be associated with the 0.95-kb molecular marker.