[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human recombinant Fab fragments specific for the spike protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) were screened from a human Fab library, which was generated from RNAs from peripheral lymphocytes of convalescent SARS patients. Among 50 randomly picked clones, 12 Fabs specially reacted with S protein by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The microneutralizing test showed that one clone, designated M1A, had neutralizing activity on Vero E6 cells against SARS-CoV. DNA sequence analysis indicated that the light- and heavy-chain genes of M1A Fab belong to the kappa2a and 4f families, respectively. A neutralizing test on purified M1A demonstrated that 0.5 mg/ml of M1A completely inhibited SARS-CoV activity, with an absence of cytopathic effect for 7 days. Real-time fluorescence reverse transcription-PCR also proved the neutralizing capacity of M1A. These data showed that the number of virus copies was significantly reduced in the M1A-treated group, suggesting an important role for M1A in passive immunoprophylaxis against the SARS virus.