Infection in a wound, like infection elsewhere in the body, is a manifestation of a disturbed host-bacteria equilibrium in favor of the bacteria. This not only elicits a systemic septic response but actually inhibits the multiple processes involved in the wound healing scheme. Each process involved in healing is affected when bacteria proliferate in a wound. Wound infection, whether in an intentional operative incision, an acute traumatic laceration, or a chronic pressure ulcer, results when bacteria indigenous to the patient or exogenous to the wound achieve dominance over the systemic and local factors of host resistance. To be able to prevent and manage wound infections requires an understanding of how each prophylactic or therapeutic maneuver works to maintain or re-establish the bacteria-host balance. Only when this equilibrium is in balance can the normal processes of wound healing proceed to give a satisfactory healing trajectory.