Cryptococcus neoformans strains isolated from 207 HIV positive and HIV negative patients hospitalized in Northern Italy were serotyped by slide agglutination. One Brazilian HIV negative woman was infected by var. gattii serotype B and all the other patients by var. neoformans, serotype D in 71%, serotype A in 24.6% and serotype AD in 3.4%. No difference was observed between subjects with serotypes A and D in HIV coinfection, exposure categories for AIDS, age, sex, and CD4 count of HIV positive patients. Meningeal and respiratory tract involvements and prostatic reservoir occurred with comparable frequency in AIDS patients infected by serotypes A and D. Skin lesions were observed only in serotype D infections, occurring in 12.6% of HIV positive and 58.3% of HIV negative patients infected by this serotype. Serotype A was found less susceptible to fluconazole than serotype D: 53.7% of serotype A strains had a MIC > or = 25 micrograms ml-1 compared to 17.7% of the serotype D isolates. On the other hand, both serotypes were highly susceptible to itraconazole.