The major antigenic protein 2 (MAP2) homolog of Ehrlichia chaffeensis was cloned and expressed. The recombinant protein was characterized and tested in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) format for potential application in the serodiagnosis of human monocytic ehrlichiosis. The recombinant protein, which contained a C-terminal polyhistidine tag, had a molecular mass of approximately 26 kDa. The antigen was clearly identified by Western immunoblotting using antihistidine antibody. However, immune sera failed to react with the recombinant on immunoblots when the antigen was denatured by heat or reduced using beta-mercaptoethanol. The recombinant MAP2 (rMAP2) was used in an ELISA format with 60 blinded serum samples. Twenty of the serum samples were previously demonstrated to contain antibodies reactive with E. chaffeensis by indirect immunofluorescence assays (IFAs). The remaining 40 samples were seronegative. All samples negative by IFA were also found to be negative for antibodies against the rMAP2 of E. chaffeensis by using the ELISA. Only 1 of 20 IFA-positive samples tested negative in the rMAP2 ELISA. There was 100% agreement using IFA-negative samples and 95% agreement using IFA-positive samples, resulting in a 97.5% overall agreement between the two assays. These data suggest that the rMAP2 homolog of E. chaffeensis may have potential as a test antigen for the serodiagnosis of human monocytic ehrlichiosis. To our knowledge, this recombinant is unique because it is thus far the only E. chaffeensis recombinant antigen that has been shown to work in an ELISA format.