Immunoglobulin G (IgG) and T-cell-derived antigen binding molecules (TABM) specific to whole Candida extract and to Candida-derived mannans prepared by both the cetryltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) and alkaline degradation (PEAT) methods were measured in the sera of women with vulvovaginal candidiasis and controls. In the patients there were significantly higher levels of IgG to both CTAB and PEAT mannans and of TABM to CTAB mannan. TABM specific to CTAB mannan was purified from the serum of a patient with a high titer of this TABM. The purified TABM bound specifically to CTAB mannan and to other yeast and mold extracts. This TABM preparation was associated with transforming growth factor β2 (TGF-β2), and on specific binding to mannan there was a marked increase in the level of detectable TGF- β2. This increase in TGF-β2 level was critically dependent on the relative concentrations of the purified TABM and mannan, being smallest when either was in excess. The TABM specific to CTAB mannan was also shown to inhibit Candida-stimulated gamma interferon production. The results suggest that CTAB mannan-specific TABM may increase susceptibility to vulvovaginal candidiasis in association with a shift in the immune response to the Th2 type.