Although biotypes of Candida albicans from adult populations, especially in the West, have been described, there are no data either from a child population, or from the African continent. Hence a total of 200 oral C. albicans isolates from Tanzanian children aged 6-24 months were biotyped using two commercially available API micromethod kit systems and a boric acid resistance test. The predominant biotypes, which comprised two thirds of the organisms isolated, were J1S (19.5%), A1S (16.0%), J1R (14.5%), A1R (9.5%) and P1R (7.5%). In total, 16 new biotypes comprising 44 (22%) isolates which have not hitherto been described were found in this Tanzanian population and, of these, the P1R biotype predominated with 15 (7.5%) isolates. There was no significant association between predominant biotypes (with clusters > or = 15 isolates) and age, gender, breast feeding and malnutrition. These data indicate that the biotype profile of C. albicans isolates may differ in paediatric and adult populations, and/or global distribution of various subtypes of this common opportunistic pathogen.