Five laboratories participated in a study to evaluate sources of variation in results from an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for antibodies against Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis. Each laboratory repeatedly tested duplicates of a negative, positive (P), and high-positive (HP) serum sample, which were supplied by the United States Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service: Veterinary Services, National Veterinary Services Laboratories, Ames, IA, on all 96-well microtiter plates when routinely testing other samples for M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis antibodies. These 3 sera were aliquoted and sent to the 5 participating laboratories. This study focused on variation in test results because of assay reagents and laboratory techniques and did not account for biologic variability associated with the time course of infection in cattle. Overall, results from 868 microtiter plates were used in the study. For each sample a sample-to-positive (S/P) ratio was calculated according to the manufacturer's directions. The S/ P ratio for the P sample ranged from 0.06 to 1.039 (mean = 0.466 and 0.484 for wells 1 and 2, respectively) and those for the HP sample ranged from 2.446 to 8.727 (mean = 4.027 and 3.980 for wells 1 and 2, respectively). The majority of the variation in S/P ratio for the P sample was attributed to kit lot (37.5%), followed by random (unexplained) error (27.0%), laboratory (18.3%), and kit lot by laboratory (11.9%). By eliminating plates in which the separation between negative and positive control ODs was less than 0.4, the proportion of variation attributed to laboratory was reduced markedly. These results confirm that there is variability in M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis ELISA results and that several sources contribute to the observed variability. The study gives a relative estimate of the contribution of various sources to the overall variability observed in the M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis ELISA results with kit lot being a primary contributor. Similar data for other ELISA tests for antibodies to M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis or other antigens also should be developed.