The rotavirus antigen test detects rotavirus in the feces. This is the most common cause of infectious diarrhea in children.
There are many ways to collect stool samples.
The sample should be collected while the diarrhea is occurring. Take the sample to the lab to be checked.
No special preparation is necessary for this test.
The test involves normal defecation.
Rotavirus is the leading cause of gastroenteritis ("stomach flu") in children. This test is done to diagnose a rotavirus infection.
Normally, rotavirus is not found in the stool.
Note: Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your health care provider about the meaning of your specific test results.
Rotavirus in the stool indicates a rotavirus infection is present.
There are no risks associated with this test.
Because rotavirus is easily passed from person to person, take these steps to prevent the germ from spreading:
Ask your provider about a vaccine to help prevent severe rotavirus infection in children under 8 months old.
Watch infants and children who have this infection closely for signs of dehydration.
Reviewed By: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.