Enteropathogens and clinical features associated with diarrhoea were investigated in 1526 children admitted over a 5-year period to the paediatric ward of a hospital in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. Overall, a recognized pathogen was isolated from 39 per cent of the children admitted with diarrhoea. The most commonly isolated agents were rotavirus (23 per cent), Shigella spp. (13 per cent), Campylobacter spp. (12 per cent), Cryptosporidium parvum (10 per cent) and enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (8 per cent). The clearest clinical associations were rotavirus with vomiting, and Shigella with blood and pus in the stool. A control series of children admitted with other complaints was also included, and the odds ratios for diarrhoea for the above five pathogens were 18.2, 9.6, 3.7, 2.2, and 1.6, respectively.