Recent progress in the laboratory has been a result of improvements in rapid analytical techniques. An update of the applications of lateral flow tests (also called immunochromatographic assay or test strip) is presented in this review manuscript. We emphasized the description of this technology in the detection of a variety of biological agents and chemical contaminants (e.g. veterinary drugs, toxins and pesticides). It includes outstanding data, such as sample treatment, sensitivity, specificity, accuracy and reproducibility. Lateral flow tests provide advantages in simplicity and rapidity when compared to the conventional detection methods.