The protective antigen (PA(83)) of Bacillus anthracis is the dominant antigen in natural and vaccine-induced immunity to anthrax infection. Three human single-chain variable fragments (scFvs) against cell bound PA were isolated from an antibody phage display library. Specifically, the antibodies were evaluated for their ability to bind to cell bound heptameric PA and ultimately protect against the cytotoxicity of lethal toxin. In total, all three scFvs possessed neutralizing activity against the cytotoxic effects of lethal toxin in a macrophage lysis assay. The K(d) values of the Fabs were determined, interestingly their protective effects did not parallel their affinities; hence, a simple binding argument alone to PA(63) cannot be used as the distinguishing feature for the prediction of their neutralization abilities. Immunofluorescent microscopy experiments were conducted and provided strong evidence for Fab binding to oligomeric PA on the cell surface and thus a plausible mechanism for the toxin neutralization activity that was observed. The results of this study presented herein suggest that our antibodies compete with LF-PA cell surface interactions, and thus may provide potential application of human antibodies as passive immunization prophylactics in cases of B. anthracis exposure and infection.