Human enteric virus infections range from gastroenteritis to life threatening diseases such as myocarditis and aseptic meningitis. Rotavirus is one of the most common enteric agents and mortality associated with infection can be very significant in developing countries. Most enteric viruses produce diseases that are not distinct from other pathogens, and current diagnostics is limited in breadth and sensitivity required to advance virus detection schemes for disease intervention strategies. A spectroscopic assay based on surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) has been developed for rapid and sensitive detection of rotavirus. The SERS method relies on the fabrication of silver nanorod array substrates that are extremely SERS-active allowing for direct structural characterization of viruses. SERS spectra for eight rotavirus strains were analyzed to qualitatively identify rotaviruses and to classify each according to G and P genotype and strain with >96% accuracy, and a quantitative model based on partial least squares regression analysis was evaluated. This novel SERS-based virus detection method shows that SERS can be used to identify spectral fingerprints of human rotaviruses, and suggests that this detection method can be used for pathogen detection central to human health care. © 2010 Driskell et al.