We determined the species distribution and in-vitro susceptibility of 6082 bloodstream infection (BSI) isolates of Candida spp. collected from 250 medical centres in 32 nations over a 10-year period from 1992 through 2001. The species included 3401 C. albicans, 984 C. glabrata, 796 C. parapsilosis, 585 C. tropicalis, 153 C. krusei, 67 C. lusitaniae, 48 C. guilliermondii, 10 C. famata, 10 C. kefyr, six C. pelliculosa, five C. rugosa, four C. lipolytica, three C. dubliniensis, three C. inconspicua, two C. sake and one isolate each of C. lambica, C. norvegensis and C. zeylanoides. Minimum inhibitory concentration determinations were made using the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards reference broth microdilution method. Variation in the rank order and frequency of the different species of Candida was observed over time and by geographic area. The proportion of BSI due to C. albicans and C. glabrata increased and C. parapsilosis decreased over time in Canada, the USA and Europe. C. glabrata was an infrequent cause of BSI in Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region. Very little variation in fluconazole susceptibility was observed among isolates of C. albicans, C. tropicalis and C. parapsilosis. These species accounted for 78% of all BSI and remained highly susceptible (91–100% susceptible) to fluconazole from 1992 to 2001 irrespective of geographic origin. The prevalence of fluconazole resistance among C. glabrata isolates was variable both over time and among the various countries and regions. Resistance to fluconazole among C. glabrata isolates was greatest in the USA and varied by US census region (range 0–23%). These observations are generally encouraging relative to the sustained usefulness of fluconazole as a systemically active antifungal agent for the treatment of candida BSI.