A phage antibody display library of single chain Fv (scFv) was derived from the peripheral blood of two patients recently recovered from pertussis infection. Ten scFv, differentiated by DNA fingerprinting, were isolated by panning the library against pertussis toxin. One scFv (type 1) accounted for 33% of clones after panning. Six of the panned scFv bound to pertussis toxin. The ability of the scFv to neutralise pertussis toxin was assessed using the Chinese hamster ovary cell assay. The predominant scFv (type 1) and two others (types IV and VIII) were able to neutralise the pertussis toxin.