Neutralizing polyclonal antibody to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) has been shown to be an effective prophylactic agent when administered intravenously in high-risk infants. This study describes the generation of a humanized monoclonal antibody, MEDI-493, that recognizes a conserved neutralizing epitope on the F glycoprotein of RSV. The affinity of MEDI-493 was found to be equal to or slightly better than an isotype-matched chimeric derivative of the parent antibody. In plaque reduction, microneutralization, and fusion-inhibition assays, MEDI-493 was significantly more potent than the polyclonal preparation. Broad neutralization of a panel of 57 clinical isolates of the RSV A and B subtypes was demonstrated. Pretreatment of cotton rats with MEDI-493 resulted in 99% reduction of lung RSV titers at a dose of 2.5 mg/kg, corresponding to a serum concentration of 25-30 microg/mL. Further, MEDI-493 did not induce increased RSV infection or pathology in either a primary or a secondary challenge.