BACKGROUND: CHROMagar Candida is a new differential medium that allows selective isolation and identification of clinically significant yeasts. We evaluated the use of this medium to identify Candida species directly from positive blood culture bottles. METHODS: A total of 152 positive blood culture bottles (51 Candida albicans, 29 Candida troficalis, 28 Candida parapsilosis, 26 Candida glabrata, 10 Candida krusei, 4 Candida pelliculosa. 1 Candida guilliermonidii, 3 C. albicans plus C. glabrata) were directly subcultures to CHROMagar (Hardy diagnostics. USA) and incubated for 48 h. Colony appearance on CHROMagar was assessed independently by three observers. RESULTS: CHROMagar correctly identified 95.4%, 92 1% and 91.4% of Candida app. from blood cultures by the three observers. respectively. There was 91.4% agree cent between the observers. Expected colony appearance on CHROMagar was 100% for C. albicans. 97.7% for C. tropicalis, 96.7% for C. krusei, 94 9% for C. glabrata but 88.1% for C. parapsilosis. Three mixed candidemias, not detected by conventional methods, were detected by CHROMagar. CONCLUSIONS: CHROMagar permits earlier recognition of major Cardida app. in positive blood cultures and more reliable detection of mixed candidemias.