In order to clarify the mechanism of action of topical thermotherapy on sporotrichosis, the effects of heat on Sporothrix schenckii in vitro and in vivo were investigated by observing the percentage germination and the ultrastructure. When the spores were heated to 42 degrees C, it took 10 hr with the conidia, 2 hr with the yeast-like cells and 1 hr with the spores in vivo to reduce the germination rates to 10%. The percentage germination curves were reduced slowly at first but later exponentially. Changes in the ultrastructure became evident in 2 hr with the yeast-like cells and in 8 hr with the conidia. The ribosome count declined and amorphous dense materials appeared in the cytoplasm and mitochondria. In vivo, the outstanding feature of the heated spores was the diversity of internal ultrastructural changes encountered and morphological changes. These were observed at 1 hr post treatment.