What is a Lateral Flow Test?
The lateral flow test became popular since the pandemic started because of its association with COVID-19. In the CID-19 case, a lateral flow test is used mainly on people who don’t show any virus symptoms. It is common for around 1 in 3 people not to exhibit symptoms even though they suffer from the virus. So, a lateral flow test comes in handy in such situations. Not testing these few people could lead to a more significant number of people getting infected.
There are different names in different countries to describe the same lateral flow test, for example, LFT (lateral flow test), LFD (lateral flow device), LFA (lateral flow assay), and Rapid tests. One of the take-home messages with the pandemic is that we need better and more efficient processes, procedures, and technologies to help people detect early signs of infections and disease in general and act promptly without delays.
There is no need for individuals to have very significant training in applying the technology. We want to offer our customers a quick test that can be used in 20 or 30 minutes to get a result, focusing on reliability to ensure accurate results.
A Lateral Flow Test is a simple diagnostic device used to confirm the presence or absence of a target analyte (biomarkers, pathogens) (1). It can detect this in humans or animals, animal feeds, contaminants, among others. The one type of lateral flow test that we’re used to is a pregnancy test. You will notice a control line is present in the test to ensure the correct loading of the sample on the device. Anyone can perform this test, whether professionals or patients, and it can be performed safely at home without visiting a clinic/lab.
How Does the Lateral Flow Test Work?
The main components of a lateral flow device are nitrocellulose membrane, labeled beads, and antibodies or other biomarkers to produce results (2).
The sample used for the detection is added to the sample pad. If the target is present, the immobilized conjugated antibodies and labels will bind to the target and continue to migrate along with the test. A colored line will form, and the density of the line will vary depending on the quantity of the target present. The sample will immediately pass through the nitrocellulose membrane into the absorbent pad. The absorbent pad will absorb the excess sample.
There are two different types of lateral flow tests (2):
Lateral flow tests are similar to PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests as they are both types of antigen tests designed to pick up active COVID-19 rather than antibodies to the disease. A lateral flow test detects SARS-COV-2 proteins’ presence to bring out a colored line on the test, which indicates an infection.
LFTs provide results in 15-30 minutes thus do not need to be sent away for confirmation.
- SANDWICH ASSAYS: This is a diagnostic tool that is quick, simple, and sensitive. Sandwich assays can detect and quantify protein biomarkers in immunoassays. A sandwich assay is more robust and sensitive as the antibody binds to two sites on the antigen. A colored line represents a positive test at the test line position.
- COMPETITIVE ASSAYS: A competitive assay is a tool used in diagnosis that detects and quantifies antibodies. The competitive assay is quicker and more flexible with good reproducibility as it only requires one binding site on the antigen. You will know a positive test by the absence of a colored line at the test line position.
One can use different sample matrices to detect the specific target (blood, saliva, urine, or serum). Some samples require a running buffer to aid sample delivery; others may be placed directly onto a test. Our Health tests use whole blood samples, and the lateral flow test is built using a sandwich assay in a housed cassette.
The type of lateral flow test you have is what determines the kind of sample it requires for you to know whether you’re positive or negative. When using swab tests that require mucus either from the back of your throat or from your nose, you can mostly complete the test yourself.
Here at Allergy Test, we are providing you with five lateral flow technology home cassette devices (SAA, CEA, TSH, PSA, and Ferritin) that you can use in the comfort of your home to check your health and act fast if necessary. One can use those tests to detect early inflammation, cancer, and biochemical markers.
We all know that it has been tough since the start of the pandemic to seek the help you need. We will help you discover the answers you need and act quickly without any delays with the service of your medical practitioner. So, if you want to find some more answers about your health, we have what you need! Please look at our website and start your journey today to find a better version of yourself!
Ordering online is more efficient because you won’t have to move a muscle, and you will get your test delivered to your doorstep with instructions about how to proceed with your test and even how to read the results.