The severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) spike protein (S) is a major target for neutralizing antibodies. Retroviral SARS-CoV S pseudotypes have been constructed and used to develop an in vitro microneutralization assay that is both sensitive and specific for SARS-CoV neutralizing antibodies. Neutralization titers measured by this assay are highly correlated to those measured by an assay using replication-competent SARS-CoV. No cross-neutralization occurred with human sera known to contain antibodies to coronavirus strains OC43 and 229E. The pseudotype assay was used to profile neutralizing antibody responses against SARS-CoV S in sequential serum samples taken from 41 confirmed SARS patients during the 2003 outbreak in Hong Kong and shows long-lasting immunity in most recovered patients. The pseudotype assay does not require handling live SARS virus; it is a useful tool to determine neutralizing titers during natural infection and the preclinical evaluation of candidate vaccines.