A double antibody sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed for the detection of endotoxin in milk samples. Bovine and rabbit antisera raised in response to vaccination with the J5 mutant of Escherichia coli 0111:B4 were used. Antiserum to this mutant has been shown to be cross-reactive with endotoxin from other gram-negative organisms. Known quantities of endotoxin were added to milk samples to generate a standard curve. Acid treatment of whole milk enhanced the detection of endotoxin as compared to untreated whole milk, skim milk and chloroform-treated milk. Milk samples from experimentally induced mastitic cows were then assayed for endotoxin content. Recovery of endotoxin, as measured by ELISA, positively correlated with the amount of endotoxin infused and the time post-infusion of sampling. However, when endotoxin from these samples was quantitated using the Limulus Amebocyte Lysate (LAL) assay, readings tended to increase, suggesting false-positive reactions with the LAL assay. Milk samples from cases of clinical mastitis were assayed by ELISA with 64% of these showing measurable levels of endotoxin. While further studies of this assay are needed, refinements may produce an assay important for clinical applications.