The effects of a modified natural porcine surfactant (Curosurf) on phagocytosis and killing of Cryptococcus neoformans by alveolar macrophages and on the production of superoxide anions were investigated in vitro. Attachment and ingestion were evaluated separately by a fluorescent quenching technique. The nitroblue tetrazolium reduction test was used as an indirect measurement of superoxide anion production. Killing was assessed by a colony-forming assay. Surfactant induced increased ingestion of C. neoformans, unopsonized as well as opsonized with fresh serum or anticryptococcal polyclonal IgG. Surfactant had, however, no effect on the attachment or killing of unopsonized or opsonized C. neoformans by the alveolar macrophages. In addition, the enhancement of the oxidative metabolism of the macrophages after stimulation with opsonized yeast was impaired, although the killing was not affected. This study indicates that in vitro Curosurf can influence the alveolar macrophage defence against C. neoformans by enhancing its ingestion and by interacting with the superoxide anions release from alveolar macrophages stimulated with fresh serum or anticryptococcal polyclonal IgG opsonized yeast cells.