The fusion protein of respiratory syncytial virus was purified by affinity chromatography using a monoclonal antibody. Under various conditions the protein was recovered as a 145K dimer or a 70K monomer. The 70K monomer was composed of disulphide-linked fragments of 48K and 23K. Polyclonal rabbit serum produced to the dimerized fusion protein neutralized virus but did not inhibit fusion, while rabbit serum to the 2-mercaptoethanol-treated dimerized protein neutralized virus and inhibited fusion of infected cells. Only the latter serum strongly recognized the 23K fragment when studied by Western blot analysis.