A serotype 3 astrovirus was identified in stool samples from an outbreak of acute gastroenteritis that occurred among military recruits in France. Sixteen stools samples and eight pairs of acute- and convalescent-phase serum were collected from affected individuals. Astrovirus was detected in two stool samples by electron microscopy and in four stool samples by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Seroconversion to the astrovirus present in one stool was detected in seven patients by using solid-phase immune electron microscopy (SPIEM) and dot blot. For three patients, the serological results were consistent with the PCR results, indicating that astrovirus was a cause of gastroenteritis in these young adults. This study describes the characterization of the serotype 3 astrovirus associated with this outbreak. The virus has a buoyant density in cesium chloride of 1.365 gm/ml and contains two proteins immuno-precipitated with rabbit serum. Only the larger protein was recognized by immunoblotting using a convalescent-phase human serum. The protein composition of this virus differs from that reported for serotype 1 astrovirus, indicating heterogeneity in the capsid composition among astrovirus serotypes.