EGFRvIII, a mutant form of epidermal growth factor receptor is highly expressed in glioblastoma, carcinoma of the breast, ovary, and lung but not in normal cells. This tumor specific antigen has emerged as a promising candidate for antibody based therapy of several cancers. The aim of the present study was isolation and characterization of a human single chain antibody against EGFRvIII as a promising target for cancer therapy. For this, a synthetic peptide corresponding to EGFRvIII protein was used for screening the naive human scFv phage library. Selection was performed using a novel screening strategy for enrichment of rare specific clones. After five rounds of screening, six positive scFv clones against EGFRvIII were selected using monoclonal phage ELISA, among them, a clone with an amber mutation in VH CDR2 coding sequence showed higher reactivity. The mutation was corrected through site directed mutagenesis and then scFv fragment was expressed after subcloning into the bacterial expression vector. Expression in BL21 pLysS resulted in a highly soluble scFv appeared in soluble fraction of E. coli lysate. Bioinformatic in silico analysis between scFv and EGFRvIII sequences confirmed specific binding of desired scFv to EGFRvIII in CDR regions. The specific reactivity of the purified scFv with native EGFRvIII was confirmed by cell based ELISA and western blot. In conclusion, human anti-EGFRvIII scFv isolated from a scFv phage library displayed high reactivity with EGFRvIII. The scFv isolated in this study can be the groundwork for developing more effective diagnostic and therapeutic agents against EGFRvIII expressing cancers. (C) 2016 European Federation of Immunological Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.