In the study, it was investigated whether mice given ultraviolet (UV)-B (280-320 nm) radiation in doses sufficient to alter cutaneous immune cells and impair the induction of contact hypersensitivity would also have impaired resistance to infectious agents administered at the site of UV irradiation. C3H mice were exposed to 400 J/sq m UVR from FS40 sunlamps on four consecutive days. Immediately after the last UV treatment, groups of mice were injected subcutaneously with Candida albicans, injected intradermally (ID) with Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG), or infected percutaneously with Schistosoma mansoni in UV-irradiated skin. The induction of the delayed hypersensitivity response to C. albicans and BCG, as assessed by footpad swelling, was unaffected by UV irradiation. However, the number of viable mycobacteria recovered from the lymphoid organs of BCG-infected mice was increased significantly in the UV-irradiated animals for a period of more than 2 months. The ability of UV radiation to impair the development of cell-mediated immunity to antigens introduced in a UV-irradiated site is not universal and depends on the particular antigen administered.