Clearance of infectious Sindbis virus from neurons is mediated by antibody to the E2 glycoprotein. Properties of the antibody important for downregulation of Sindbis virus replication are unknown. Immunoglobulin isotypes and valency determine many biological properties of antibodies. An immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) isotype switch mutant and F(ab')2 and Fab fragments of IgG3 monoclonal antibody 209 were prepared and tested for clearance of infectious virus from persistently infected rat dorsal root ganglion neurons in vitro. IgG1, IgG3, and IgG3-derived F(ab')2 fragments were similarly efficacious, while IgG3-derived Fab fragments had no effect on virus replication. Cross-linking of Fab with secondary antibodies restored antiviral activity. Therefore, we found no evidence that IgG subclass plays a role in control of intracellular Sindbis virus replication. However, bivalency appears to be crucial for the ability of E2-specific IgG molecules to mediate clearance of infectious virus from neuron cells, suggesting that cross-linking of E2 molecules is essential.