If a wound culture reveals the need for a susceptibility test, it is often performed automatically and without an additional test having to be ordered by the doctor. This can save time so that antimicrobial therapy can begin as soon as possible.
Gram stains are routinely performed on the original sample that is collected for the wound culture. This is done to give the doctor an initial evaluation of the wound - to look for any bacteria that might be present in the original sample. A gram stain that does not show the presence of bacteria does not rule out a wound infection.
A wound culture may also sometimes be ordered on a patient who has undergone treatment for a wound infection, to determine whether the treatment was effective. It may also be ordered at intervals on a person who has a chronic infection, to help guide further treatment.
If a fungal infection is suspected, then a fungal culture of the wound specimen may be ordered along with the bacterial wound culture. Yeast and some fungi may grow on the same media as bacteria, but many fungi are slow-growing. The media used to recover fungi inhibits bacterial growth and supports fungal growth for several weeks.