Burkholderia pseudomallei, the aetiological agent of melioidosis, is endemic in south-east Asia and northern Australia, where it is an important cause of human disease. There is no vaccine available and antibiotic therapy is associated with high relapse rates. A panel of seven monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) that recognise capsular polysaccharide, lipopolysaccharide or proteins was produced and their ability to protect mice passively against experimental melioidosis was evaluated. The MAbs were capable of protecting mice against intra-peritoneal challenge with 10(4) cfu/250 MLD of a virulent strain of B. pseudomallei (NCTC 4845), when pooled, and four of the MAbs were individually protective. However, at a higher B. pseudomallei challenge level of 10(6) cfu none of the MAbs afforded protection and only the anti-exopolysaccharide MAbs produced a significantly delayed time to death.