Noroviruses are a frequent cause of both acute gastroenteritis and outbreaks of gastroenteritis. Infection is usually self-limiting although it has been associated with mortality in children in the developing world and in vulnerable groups such as immunodeficient or immunosuppressed and elderly patients elsewhere. Diagnostic tests may be useful in preventing or limiting the spread and duration of outbreaks, and are needed to define norovirus-associated morbidity and mortality. However, the interpretation of test results should take account of the limitations of the different tests currently available. Therefore, the clinical, immunological and molecular tests available for norovirus detection have been reviewed. Early recognition of cases (clinical diagnoses) together with confirmation by sensitive and specific laboratory tests may contribute to reducing the spread of norovirus within hospitals. Syndromic testing that includes multiple or multiplex assays for the detection of viral, bacterial and parasitic pathogens with the inclusion of control groups are likely to better define norovirus-associated morbidity and mortality in low-and middle-income countries.