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A classification of mycoses, depending upon the depth of penetration of the organism is discussed, as is the need to distinguish the true from the 'pseudo' mycoses. The development of antifungal agents is described from the first antibiotics to amphotericin B and 5-fluorocytosine. Attention is particularly focussed on the question of safety and effectiveness. Finally, it is stressed that successful antifungal treatment must depend upon determination of the exact pathological status of the patient and examples are given which relate to such clinical assessments.