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Diarrhoea is a symptom of the response of the intestinal tract to a variety of primary diseases. It can be clinically classified based on the duration of the symptom and other associated features. In tropical regions, acute infective diarrhoea is widely prevalent and is an important factor contributing to morbidity and mortality, especially in children. The strategy of maintaining hydration by oral rehydration solutions has contributed significantly to reduction of mortality. Antibiotics are indicated only under specified circumstances. Persistent diarrhoea with prolonged symptoms increases the morbidity and mortality. Chronic diarrhoea is often associated with malabsorption of nutrients and an important component is tropical sprue, a primary malabsorption syndrome. Since diarrhoea is the response of the host to a variety of factors, the detailed study of this symptom has furthered the understanding of intestinal physiology.