We have prepared and characterized four monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) to human C3b of high specificity and affinity. Our procedure did not require a purified source of C3b for immunization. Instead, C3b and C3bi were deposited on Sepharose 4B via the alternative pathway of complement activation in normal human serum, and this C3b(i)-Sepharose served as the immunogen. C3b(i)-Sepharose was also prepared from a number of primate and non-primate sources, and this allowed us to demonstrate that the anti-human C3b MAbs cross-reacted with primate-derived C3b, but not with C3b from non-primates. The procedures we have developed may be useful in the further investigation of species-specific C3 fragment-binding proteins from both primate and non-primate sources. © 1989.