Despite advances in the in vitro immunization of human B cells (Borrebaeck et al. 1988) and the development of immunodeficient mice (McCune et al. 1988) for the reconstitution of the human immune system ex vivo, immortalization of antigen-specific human B cells remains the limiting step in the generation of human monoclonal antibodies. Typically this is performed with the aid of Epstein-Barr virus transformation followed by subcloning, confirmation of antigen binding and hybridization of the B lymphoblasts to a suitable fusion partner such as GLI-H7. This general approach is effective and widely used; however, it is time-consuming with erratic results. These were the immediate reasons we and others devised methods to directly obtain the variable regions from small numbers of human B cells (Larrick et al. 1987). The success of the PCR-based approach is illustrated above. In the present studies we successfully captured and stably produced antibodies from the V regions of two potent human anti-tetanus antibodies secreted by heteromyelomas that were too unstable for scale-up production. Although further preclinical evaluation of these antibodies is in progress, results to date indicate that the recombinant antibodies produced in myeloma-based cell lines or CHO cells are equivalent in binding specificity and activity to the native heteromyeloma-derived antibodies. Recent studies from this laboratory indicate that effective anti-tetanus protection will require a cocktail of anti-tetanus antibodies. Details of this work will be the subject of a future communication (Lang et al., in preparation).