Reasons, Preparation and Procedure For Conducting a Wound Culture Test

Submitted on March 27, 2012

Tests For Wound Cultures

Wound cultures are tests that are done to check for the presence of bacteria or fungi in a wound. The wound culture procedure is generally not conducted for mundane and small wounds but is rather conducted for extremely large and visibly infected wounds or even if the area of the wound could pose a cosmetic problem. A sample that is used in the wound culture technique is generally acquired from the exudates that are coming out of the wound that include mucus, serous fluid, and pus. The wound culture and sensitivity of the test can be subjective since a large part of the accuracy of the test lies in finding the exact source and core of infection. For example, a wound that is probably deep in the skin tissue may not be found accurately if just a surface swab is taken.

Reason Why It is Conducted

A wound culture test is just like any culture test that is performed and is used to identify the bacteria or fungi that normally populate a wound. In nearly all situations, the body is quite adept at fighting off infections that arise from most type of wounds. However, there are some wounds that can be problematic and cause the entry of bacteria to the area immediately. Bites from animals are usually quite problematic in this regard and an infection can arise immediately after a bite from an animal. The same applies to the constant wounding that occurs on the skin of a patient with diabetes that is out of control. Burn victims are especially prone to infection because of the span of the wound and the time it takes for healing.


The wound culture test is normally performed by taking a sample of the pus in an area of infection and then analyzing it under a microscope. Some time needs to be given to the culture sample collected to start proliferation, which can be days in the case of bacteria and weeks in the case of fungi. Staining might have to be performed for better visibility.


There is no preparation that is required to be done for test as it is a test of normal function. It is probably a good idea to let your doctor know if you are diabetic or if your wounds seem to be taking an abnormally long time to heal, get a serum glucose test done.