PCR Testing versus Lateral Flow Testing

Antigen versus Antibodies, PCR Testing versus Lateral Flow Testing. Are you confused by all the terminology, do you need a simple guide to explain to your staff. Our guide which is available to download should have all the answers, and if not give us a call we are happy to help.

Covid-19 Testing Advice


What do the tests mean?

Antigen Test Results

Firstly, there are two types of Tests for COVID-19, ANTIGEN and ANTIBODY. So, let’s start there:

Antigen – is actually the substance causing the infection, resulting in the production of antibodies. An antibody is therefore the substance produced to fight ‘antigen causing infection’. That has a significant impact on the testing, and more importantly what each test means and how they are performed.

You will also note from the results shown above, we talk about IgM and IgG - don't worry that can also be easily explained. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) is the most common antibody. It’s in blood and other body fluids and protects against bacterial and viral infections. Immunoglobulin M (IgM) is found mainly in blood and lymph fluid. IgM importantly is the first antibody the body makes when it fights a new infection - so it all about timing and hence the results above!

The two types of tests

PCR versus lateral flow

The key thing here is that a PCR test is the 'gold standard' and needs to be performed by an expert with expensive equipment. Lateral flow tests are ideal for screening purposes, as they can be done by relatively inexperienced staff. This means that with regular testing, organisations can more easily identify possible virus outbreaks and quickly respond to minimise disruption to their operations. An important consideration here is that these tests can detect COVID in people who are not displaying symptoms.

A positive result indicates that such people need to self-isolate, so there is no risk of them infecting others.

Tests available from HeathBrook

British Antigen Testing Kit

We have a number of Lateral Flow Rapid Testing Kits in stock that we can offer you and can also supply PCR Tests on request. We have partners that can support PCR Testing if required.

We support British manufacturing as much as we can as a business which includes offering a SureScreen testing kit, amongst other highly reputable brands, which produce highly accurate results. It is worth noting, with these test the results can only be as good as the specimen samples used, so it is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions very carefully.

Any questions please don't hesitate to contact us 0118 931 3200 or email sales@hbcw.co.uk with you enquiry.

How To Perform An Antigen Test

This guide may help you to perform an accurate test using a Rapid Antigen Test Kit,