Effective prophylaxis and antiviral therapies are urgently needed in the event of reemergence of the highly contagious and often fatal severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus (SARS-CoV) infection. We have identified eight recombinant human single-chain variable region fragments (scFvs) against the S1 domain of spike (S) protein of the SARS-CoV from two nonimmune human antibody libraries. One scFv 80R efficiently neutralized SARS-CoV and inhibited syncytia formation between cells expressing the S protein and those expressing the SARS-CoV receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Mapping of the 80R epitope showed it is located within the N-terminal 261-672 amino acids of S protein and is not glycosylation-dependent. 80R scFv competed with soluble ACE2 for association with the S1 domain and bound S1 with high affinity (equilibrium dissociation constant, Kd=32.3 nM). A human IgG1 form of 80R bound S1 with a 20-fold higher affinity of 1.59 nM comparable to that of ACE2 (Kd=1.70 nM), and neutralized virus 20-fold more efficiently than the 80R scFv. These data suggest that the 80R human monoclonal antibody may be a useful viral entry inhibitor for the emergency prophylaxis and treatment of SARS, and that the ACE2-binding site of S1 could be an attractive target for subunit vaccine and drug development.