Using the Taiwan nationwide laboratory-confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) database, we analyzed neutralizing antibody in relation to clinical outcomes. With a linear mixed model, neutralizing antibody titer was shown to peak between week 5 and week 8 after onset and to decline thereafter, with a half-life of 6.4 weeks. Patients with a longer illness showed a lower neutralizing antibody response than patients with a shorter illness duration (p = 0.008). When early responders were compared with most patients, who seroconverted on and after week 3 of illness, the small proportion (17.4%) of early responders (antibody detectable within 2 weeks) had a higher death rate (29.6% vs. 7.8%) (Fisher exact test, p = 0.004), had a shorter survival time of <2 weeks (Fisher exact test, p = 0.013), and were more likely to be > 60 years of age (Fisher exact test, p = 0.01). Our findings have implications for understanding the pathogenesis of SARS and for SARS vaccine research and development.