We synthesized on cellulose membranes 4942 ten-amino-acid peptides which included all of the sequences predicted for the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) corona virus. We probed these membranes with four pairs of acute and convalescent sera from recovered SARS cases. We correlated positively reacting peptides with the in vitro SARS-CoV neutralizing activity of the samples. We found that convalescent sera with high neutralizing activity recognized exclusively only a limited number of peptides on the membranes. This suggests that antibodies against the epitopes represented by these peptides could be responsible for much of the SARS-CoV neutralizing activity. The findings have implications for monitoring humoral responses to SARS-CoV as well as for developing a successful SARS vaccine.