Contact Us
Posted: June 12, 2017
  • Product News

How is lateral flow technology used for rapid nucleic acid detection?

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is widely used across a broad section of industries in many applications such as meat speciation testing, food and drink authentication or rapid disease detection in humans or animals.

DNA agarose gel electrophoresis is the traditional method for confirming the presence of nucleic acid following DNA amplification. PCRD is a rapid alternative to gel electrophoresis that can be performed in a matter of minutes without the need for expensive equipment or exposure to intercalating dye and UV light.

Simple alternative

Rapid nucleic acid detection from Abingdon Health's NALFIA, PCRDPCRD is a nucleic acid lateral flow immunoassay (NALFIA) suitable for use with PCR, Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP), Recombinase Polymerase Amplification (RPA) or Helicase Dependent Amplification (HDA).

The format of PCRD is suitable for use in both high throughput laboratories and small field based laboratories.

Rapid nucleic acid detection for multiple industries

PCRD is used by customers globally from many different industry sectors in order to facilitate sensitive and rapid nucleic acid detection.

The use of PCRD along with DNA amplification has been demonstrated with RPA TwistAmp® R&D kits. The combination of RPA and PCRD has been used for applications such as Aquaculture disease and STD detection. Customers using the lateral flow specific TwistAmp® nfo kits are developing assays for field testing of malaria, chlamydia, HIV, intestinal protozoa, diseases associated with veterinary targets (porcine, goat, bovine) and also agriculture targets, from many different initial sample types (blood, stool, plant and animal tissue).

Customer experiences with PCRD

Dr Bonnie L. Webster, a Researcher at the WHO (World Health Organisation) Collaborating Centre for the Identification and Characterisation of Schistosomes and Snails, located at the Natural History Museum, is using the PCRD kit in conjunction with TwistDx’s TwistAmp® nfo kit to develop a lateral flow assay for the diagnosis of schistosomiasis, funded by a Royal Society Research Grant. The main aim of the work is to develop a rapid molecular field-based diagnostic that needs little or no infrastructure.

The PCRD kits are being used to detect RPA amplification of parasite DNA in the samples. Katrin Krõlov et al from the University of Tartu ( used a variant of PCRD combined with RPA for the sensitive and rapid detection of chlamydia trachomatis, an infection with little or no symptoms and long-term side effects. The main aim of their work is to develop an assay that does not require DNA purification before the amplification reaction, is relatively simple to perform, and could be applied in point of care environment.

Malaria diagnostics

A modified version of PCRD lateral flow is being combined with PCR to develop a novel molecular diagnostic test for malaria as part of the EU-funded Diagmal project (

Rapid nucleic acid detection as part of malaria diagnostics

Following DNA amplification, a four line nucleic acid lateral flow immunoassay (NALFIA) device is used to detect whether a patient has Plasmodium falciparum or Plasmodium vivax or a different Plasmodium species.

Plasmodium is the causal parasite of Malaria. It is important to confirm the presence of P. falciparum or P. vivax as these are the most common species of Plasmodium, and have severe symptoms. P. falciparum is the most severe and is responsible for the majority of malaria deaths. Although P. vivax causes milder symptoms, it can remain dormant in the liver for several years and can result in relapses.


Abingdon Health is passionate about providing organisations with a solution for detecting nucleic acid quickly in a user-friendly format. With its ability to work with multiple applications, without the need for expensive equipment, PCRD is able to offer scientists a flexible and intuitive assay to compliment their DNA amplification application or to aid with the development of novel diagnostics methods.

As demonstrated above PCRD is able to help with the detection of infectious diseases in humans and has the potential to detect targets in many other fields. If you would like more information about how PCRD can help the process of rapid nucleic acid detection with your assay please contact our team on [email protected] or +44 (0) 1904 406082.

Download our brochure to learn more about PCRD and PCRD FLEX.

PCRD NALFIA test brochure download image