Rhodotorula species are commensal yeasts of variable pathogenicity. The authors report the case histories of two patients presenting with febrile neutropenia. The first was a 3-year-old girl who had been treated with combination chemotherapy for a tumour of the posterior fossa. The second was a 46-year-old man who had received chemotherapy for lymphoplasmocytic lymphoma, followed by consolidation treatment with autologous bone marrow transplantation. Investigation revealed infection caused by Rhodotorula. The outcome was favourable after removal of the catheter in both patients. Rhodotorula species have been isolated during a variety of infectious complications. Almost all published cases of fungaemia concern patients with central venous catheters that have been in place over long periods, who have also been treated with broad spectrum antibiotics. Neoplasia represents the most frequent underlying disease. The pathogenicity of Rhodotorula species appears to be moderate in most cases; fungal therapy or the removal of infected catheters is generally effective. Nevertheless, Rhodotorula has been reported to provoke fatal endocarditis or meningitis and can probably cause septic shock.