Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) is required for the recognition of numerous molecular components of bacteria, fungi and protozoa. The breadth of the ligand repertoire seems unusual, even if one considers that TLR2 may form heteromers with TLRs 1 and 6 (ref. 12), and it is likely that additional proteins serve as adapters for TLR2 activation. Here we show that an N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea-induced nonsense mutation of Cd36 (oblivious) causes a recessive immunodeficiency phenotype in which macrophages are insensitive to the R-enantiomer of MALP-2 (a diacylated bacterial lipopeptide) and to lipoteichoic acid. Homozygous mice are hypersusceptible to Staphylococcus aureus infection. Cd36(obl) macrophages readily detect S-MALP-2, PAM(2)CSK(4), PAM(3)CSK(4) and zymosan, revealing that some--but not all--TLR2 ligands are dependent on CD36. Already known as a receptor for endogenous molecules, CD36 is also a selective and nonredundant sensor of microbial diacylglycerides that signal via the TLR2/6 heterodimer.