Rapid assays like lateral flow tests provide quick yes or no results in an easy to use format. They allow for point of care analysis as an alternative to more time-consuming immunoassays that need to be performed in laboratories. Rapid tests are used to qualitatively detect patient-generated antibodies to enable clinical diagnosis and indicate treatment.
How do they work?
Lateral flow or rapid tests use the principle of immunochromatography – whereby the components of the test flow laterally through a matrix by capillary action allowing the antigens to combine with antibodies to facilitate the detection and visualization of those complexes.