Rotavirus antigen test

Definition

The rotavirus antigen test detects rotavirus in the feces. This is the most common cause of infectious diarrhea in children.

How the Test is Performed

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.

How to Prepare for the Test

No special preparation is necessary for this test.

How the Test will Feel

The test involves normal defecation.

Why the Test is Performed

Rotavirus is the leading cause of gastroenteritis ("stomach flu") in children. This test is done to diagnose a rotavirus infection.

Normal Results

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.

What Abnormal Results Mean

Rotavirus in the stool indicates a rotavirus infection is present.

Risks

There are no risks associated with this test.

Considerations

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.


Review Date: 4/10/2018
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.

This information should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. © 1997- 2007 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.