Vaccine-induced antibodies can prevent or, in the case of feline infectious peritonitis virus, aggravate infections by coronaviruses. We investigated whether a recombinant native full-length S-protein trimer (triSpike) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) was able to elicit a neutralizing and protective immune response in animals and analyzed the capacity of anti-S antibodies to mediate antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) of virus entry in vitro and enhancement of replication in vivo. SARS-CoV-specific serum and mucosal immunoglobulins were readily detected in immunized animals. Serum IgG blocked binding of the S-protein to the ACE2 receptor and neutralized SARS-CoV infection in vitro. Entry into human B cell lines occurred in a FcgammaRII-dependent and ACE2-independent fashion indicating that ADE of virus entry is a novel cell entry mechanism of SARS-CoV. Vaccinated animals showed no signs of enhanced lung pathology or hepatitis and viral load was undetectable or greatly reduced in lungs following challenge with SARS-CoV. Altogether our results indicate that a recombinant trimeric S protein was able to elicit an efficacious protective immune response in vivo and warrant concern in the safety evaluation of a human vaccine against SARS-CoV.