To improve a previously constructed broadly neutralizing hepatitis B virus (HBV)-specific preS1 humanized antibody (HzKR127), we further humanized it through specificity-determining residue (SDR) grafting. Moreover, we improved affinity by mutating two residues in heavy-chain complementarity-determining regions (CDR), on the basis of the crystal structure of the antigen-antibody complex. HzKR127-3.2 exhibited 2.5-fold higher affinity and enhanced virus-neutralizing activity compared to the original KR127 antibody and showed less immunogenic potential than HzKR127. Enhanced virus-neutralizing activity was achieved by the increased association rate, providing insights into engineering potent antibody therapeutics for HBV immunoprophylaxis. HzKR127-3.2 may be a good candidate for HBV immunoprophylaxis. (C) 2014 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.