Adam Peaty helped the men’s 4x100m medley relay team to silver as Britain ended the World Swimming Championships with seven medals.
The line-up of Chris Walker-Hebborn, Peaty, James Guy and Duncan Scott also won Olympic silver at Rio 2016.
They finished in three minutes 28.95 seconds, 1.04 seconds behind the USA.
Caeleb Dressel, swimming the butterfly leg for the USA, equalled Michael Phelps’ record of seven gold medals at a world championships.
The British team’s total of seven medals, which included four golds, helped them finish second in the overall standings behind USA.
“It’s always special getting to compete with these guys and we really wanted that medal,” Peaty told BBC Sport.
“Silver is OK, but we know there’s a gold medal in there as we’re a young team that can still make improvements.”
Walker-Hebborn pulled out of the individual 100m backstroke and mixed relay events earlier in the competition as he battled with a chest infection, but returned for the final day of competition.
“It’s been such a tough week,” Walker-Hebborn told BBC Sport. “I’ve been through a lot of antibiotics and was pretty close to going home at one stage but I wanted to go out and perform for the lads tonight.”
There was more agony for Britain’s Max Litchfield, who finished fourth for the third major race in a row.
After narrowly missing out on 400m individual medley bronze at Rio 2016, he was also close in the 200m event at these World Championships in Budapest. This time, he was outsprinted by Japan’s Daiya Seto in the 400m individual medley event.
“What can you do?” said Litchfield. “That last 25m was the hardest of my life, but you can’t control other people and I have to be really pleased with the time.”
“I’ve been progressing for the last three to four years and there’s been a massive drop in my times, but I can’t do anything about that [result] and it’s just a matter of going away and working on more things.”
‘Launch pad for the next three years’
Bill Furniss, Great Britain’s head coach, said he was pleased with the performances and will use the experience as a “launch pad” for the next three years.
He was happy even though Siobhan-Marie O’Connor struggled for form, and Jazz Carlin withdrew after being affected by illness and injury in recent months.
“I’m pleased,” he said. “It’s year one. I didn’t know what to expect. It was a bit lumpy this year.
“Obviously Jazz wasn’t here, Siobhan wasn’t firing on all cylinders. She hadn’t had great preparation.
“I’m really pleased. Seven medals, second on the medal table. I don’t think we’ve ever done that before.
“Does it mean we’re the second best nation in the world? I don’t think so.
“What it means is it’s probably a really good launchpad for the next three years.”
Third gold for Sjostrom
The USA’s Chase Kalisz completed the individual medley double, having won at 200m, with Hungarian David Verraszto second.
Hungary’s Olympic champion Katinka Hosszu became the first woman to win the same event at a world championships four times in a row with victory in the 400m individual medley.
Mireia Belmonte, of Spain, was second, with Canada’s Sydney Pickrem third and Britain’s Hannah Miley eighth.
“That’s not what I came here for,” said Miley. “I’m pretty gutted with that as I was expecting a lot more from myself.
“Obviously, something psychologically is not quite there yet, but it’ll give me a kick up the backside. I need to get stuck back in and make sure the Commies [Commonwealth Games] are a lot, lot faster.”
Britain’s women’s 4x100m medley team of Kathleen Dawson, Sarah Vasey, Charlotte Atkinson and Freya Anderson were seventh in a race won in a new world record of 3:51.55 by the USA.
Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom claimed her third gold medal of the week with success in the women’s 50m freestyle final.
Dutch swimmer Ranomi Kromowidjojo – a double Olympic champion at London 2012 – was second, with the USA’s Simone Manuel third.
American Lilly King set a new world record of 29.40 to add the 50m breaststroke title to her 100m success earlier in the week.
Russia’s Yulia Efimova was second, with USA’s Katie Meili third and Britain’s World Championships debutant Sarah Vasey sixth.
Camille Lacourt, of France, won his third successive World 50m backstroke title, with Japan’s Junya Koga second and American veteran Matt Grevers third.
Olympic champion Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy successfully defended his 1,500m World crown with Ukrainian Mykhaylo Romanchuk second and Australia’s Mack Horton third.