Tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) is related to some other factors in addition to being the essential cytokine of the sepsis which results from Candida infections. In our study, we investigated serum TNF-alpha levels, measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and platelet-activating factor (PAF)-like activity, measured by high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) of the mice infected with Candida species. The PAF antagonist, ginkgolide BN 52021 was used to evaluate the possible interaction between TNF-alpha and PAF. The average TNF-alpha levels were found to be 396, 489, 699 and 803 pg ml(-1) on the 4th, 5th, 6th and 19th days of Candida albicans infection, respectively (P<0.05). There was no statistically significant difference between the serum TNF-alpha levels of the groups infected with other Candida species, such as C. kefyr, C. krusei and C. tropicalis (P>0.05). Serum TNF-alpha levels were found to be more significantly different in mice with C. albicans infection that were injected with PAF antagonists on the 6th day (23 pg ml(-1)). It was therefore thought that PAF antagonists have an inhibitory effect on TNF-alpha production. No significant difference was found between PAF levels in the three groups: healthy control mice, C. albicans-infected mice and C. albicans-infected mice given PAF antagonists (466 milli-absorbance unit (mAU), 475 mAU and 329 mAU, respectively). It was noticed that the positive interaction between PAF and TNF-alpha was not important after the first 4 days of the infection had passed.