Does this test have other names?
Rotavirus test, Nucleic acid detection test, Isolation in cell culture
What is this test?
The rotavirus test is a stool test used to diagnose a rotavirus infection. Rotavirus
affects the intestines and causes vomiting and diarrhea. This infection is especially
common in young children, but it can affect adults, too. A rotavirus infection causes
a condition called viral gastroenteritis.
Currently two 2 rotavirus vaccines are available for infants. Both vaccines are given
by mouth (orally), not by a shot. Getting one of these vaccines will prevent most
babies from severe rotavirus diarrhea. But it won't protect them from diarrhea caused
by other germs.
Rotavirus passes easily from person to person. It can also be picked up by touching
a surface contaminated by someone with rotavirus. Sharing food or drink with an infected
person can also spread it. Rotavirus can be dangerous, especially in children, because
it can cause dehydration. Dehydration happens when the body doesn't have enough fluids,
as can happen with frequent diarrhea and vomiting. Most people don't need treatment
for rotavirus, but it's still important to diagnose the infection and watch for signs
Why do I need this test?
You may need this test if you have symptoms of a rotavirus infection. Symptoms usually
start about 2 days after coming into contact with the virus. They include:
Symptoms of dehydration include:
Dry mouth and throat
Less urination than usual
Dizziness when you stand up
In children, few or no tears when crying
What other tests might I have along with this test?
You may have other tests to diagnose rotavirus or check for dehydration, including
urine tests and blood tests.
What do my test results mean?
Many things may affect your lab test results. These include the method each lab uses
to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you
may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your healthcare
The lab technician looks for the wheel-shaped rotavirus in the sample. If the test
results show rotavirus in your stool sample, you have the infection.
How is this test done?
It's best to do this test 1 to 4 days after symptoms start, but definitely within
8 days of when you first notice symptoms.
You must collect a stool sample for this test. Your healthcare provider will tell
you how to collect a sample in a disposable specimen container with a lid. Do not
collect stool from the toilet bowl or put toilet paper into the specimen container.
Give your sample to a healthcare provider or lab technician. At the lab, your stool
sample will be tested for the rotavirus.
Does this test pose any risks?
This test only involves collecting a bowel movement, so there are no risks from this
What might affect my test results?
Only having the rotavirus in your digestive tract can cause rotavirus in your stool.
Medicines, diet, or lifestyle habits will not affect your results. Be careful not
to contaminate the sample with urine or water from the toilet.
How do I get ready for this test?
You don't need to prepare for this test.