This paper describes a sensitive and specific determination strategy for Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) detection using aptamer recognition and fluorescent silica nanoparticles (FSiNPs) label based dual-color flow cytometry assay (Aptamer/FSiNPs-DCFCM). In the protocol, an aptamer, having high affinity to S. aureus, was first covalently immobilized onto chloropropyl functionalized FSiNPs through a click chemistry approach to generate aptamer-nanoparticles bioconjugates (Aptamer/FSiNPs). Next, S. aureus was incubated with Aptamer/FSiNPs, and then stained with SYBR Green I (a special staining material for the duplex DNA). Upon target binding and nucleic acid staining with SYBR Green I, the S. aureus was determined using two-color flow cytometry. The method took advantage of the specificity of aptamer, signal amplification of FSiNPs label and decreased false positives of two-color flow cytometry assay. It was demonstrated that these Aptamer/FSiNPs could efficiently recognize and fluorescently label target S. aureus. Through multiparameter determination with flow cytometry, this assay allowed for detection of as low as 1.5 x 10(2) and 7.6 x 10(2) cells mL(-1) S. aureus in buffer and spiked milk, respectively, with higher sensitivity than the Aptamer/FITC based flow cytometry.