Diagnosis of rotavirus gastroenteritis by smell

Arch Dis Child. 1987 Aug;62(8):851-2. doi: 10.1136/adc.62.8.851.


Clinical features cannot differentiate rotavirus gastroenteritis from other types of diarrhoea. Sixty eight stool specimens were examined by nurses on an infant gastroenteritis ward. Of these, 69% were correctly classified by smell alone. The results are significant (p = 0.009) and support the suggestion that rotavirus stools have a characteristic smell.

MeSH terms

  • Feces* / microbiology
  • Gastroenteritis / diagnosis*
  • Gastroenteritis / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Rotavirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Rotavirus Infections / microbiology
  • Smell*