Abstract The efficacy and suitability of cellular schizont, soluble schizont and soluble piroplasm antigens was compared for detecting antibodies against Theileria annulata. Fifty bovine sera of known identity were evaluated in ELISA using the above mentioned antigens. Antibody titres of 1 : 100 to 1 : 51 200 were detected while using soluble piroplasm and cellular schizont antigen in ELISA. The titres ranged between 1 : 100 to 1 : 25 600 with the soluble schizont antigen. Soluble piroplasm antigen exhibited the highest antibody titres followed by cellular schizont and soluble schizont antigens. Cellular schizont antigen proved to be better than soluble schizont antigen for detecting anti-schizontal antibodies. Antibody titres obtained by the three antigens exhibited a good linear correlation amongst each other. The study showed that soluble piroplasm and cellular schizont antigens can be used successfully for detecting antibodies against piroplasm and schizont stages of T. annulata, respectively in bovine sera.