Salmonella, as a common foodborne pathogen in dairy products, poses a great threat to human health. We studied a new detection method based on quantum dots (QD). A fluorescent biosensor with multiple fluorescent signal amplification based on a streptavidin (SA) biotin system and the polyamino linear polymer poly-l-lysine (PLL) were established to detect Salmonella in milk. First, Salmonella was captured on a black 96-well plate with paired Salmonella mAb to form a double-antibody sandwich. Second, SA was immobilized on biotin -modified mAb by SA-biotin specific bond. Then, the biotin modified polylysine (BT-PLL) was bound on SA and specifically bonded again through the SA-biotin system. Finally, water-soluble CdSe/ZnS QD-labeled SA was added to a black 96-well plate for covalent coupling with BT-PLL. The fluorescent signal was amplified in a dendritic manner by the layer-by-layer overlap of SA and biotin and the covalent coupling of biotinylated PLL. Under optimal conditions, the detection limit was 4.9 x 10(3) cfu/mL in PBS. The detection limit was 10 times better than that of the conventional sandwich ELISA. In addition, the proposed biosensor was well specific and could be used for detecting Salmonella in milk samples.