Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) with a purified recombinant 44-kDa protein and indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA) staining methods incorporating whole-cell antigens of the human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) agent were used to detect antibodies to Ehrlichia phagocytophila genogroup organisms in cattle sera. The cattle lived in tick-infested areas of Connecticut, USA and were healthy at the times blood samples were collected in 1990, 1999 and 2000. Of the 339 serum samples analysed, 40 (12%) and 15 (4%) were positive by ELISA and IFA, respectively. Western immunoblots of a subset of sera verified antibody reactivity of six serum samples, positive by ELISA with titres of 640-2560, to a protein with a molecular mass of c. 44 kDa. Although seroprevalence rates were low, cattle were exposed to the HGE agent at different sites and should be monitored for anaemia, leukopenia or thrombocytopenia, especially if there is evidence of unexplained decreased milk production. Different serological testing methods should be used to detect immunoglobulins.