BACKGROUND: Rotavirus is the most common cause of childhood gastroenteritis during winter season. Rapid, accurate diagnosis is essential for preventing severe complications of rotaviral gastroenteritis. The sensitivity and specificity of five detection test kits for rotavirus including latex agglutination (LAT), enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and three immunochromatographic methods (ICG) were evaluated in this study. METHODS: A total of 95 stool samples collected from patients with acute gastroenteritis were studied. The test kits were as follows: LAT (Slidex latex, bioMerieux Vitek, France); three kinds of ICG (Dipstick ROTA, Eiken, Japan; SAS Rota Test, SA Scientific, Inc., USA; and ASAN Easy Test Rota strip, ASAN Pharmaceutical., Korea); and EIA (VIDAS Rotavirus, bioMerieux Vitek). The samples showing discordant results were reevaluated by reverse-transcription (RT) PCR and clinical manifestations. RESULTS: Of a total of 95 cases, 56 (58.9%) were positive and 39 (41.1%) were negative. Thirteen cases showed discordant results. Sensitivity and specificity were, respectively, 85.7% and 100% for LAT, 100% and 95% for both of Dipstick ROTA and SAS Rota, 86.7% and 87.5% for ASAN Rota strip and 98.1% and 97.3% for EIA. CONCLUSIONS: LAT was rapid and easy to perform and showed the lowest sensitivity among the five test kits. ICG showed a good agreement with EIA and RT-PCR. EIA was the best in respect of sensitivity and specificity, but difficulty in interpretations of equivocal results and time-consuming procedures were limitations. In conclusion, ICG, which is easy to perform at a low cost, may be an optimal method in place of LAT for the detection of rotavirus.