Patients with Crohn's disease (CD) (n = 10) and ulcerative colitis (UC) (n = 10) were tested for immune responses against various antigens from Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis; alkyl hydroperoxide reductase C (AhpC) and alkyl hydroperoxide reductase D (AhpD), which are constitutively expressed in this species as opposed to other mycobacteria, a 14-kDa secreted antigen and PPD-J. The CD patients had significantly elevated antibody levels against the 14 kDa protein (P < 0.05) that were negatively correlated with the duration of the disease (r(s) = - 0.85). They also seemed to have increased antibody levels against AhpC and AhpD, but the differences between the two groups were not significant. However, taken together, the antibody responses to three individual mycobacterial antigens in CD patients strengthen the possibility that the observed responses are caused by mycobacterial infection. No significant differences in the interferon (IFN)-gamma production, the interleukin (IL)-10 production and the ability to proliferate upon stimulation with these antigens were observed. These results show that measuring antibody responses against purified specific antigens is a suitable and simple approach when assessing the connection between CD and mycobacteria in patients with clinical CD. Another important aspect in such studies is to have well defined patient groups tested at the onset of clinical symptoms.