The ability of Staphylococcus aureus to develop multidrug resistance is well documented, and the antibiotic resistance showed by an increasing number of bacteria has shown the need for alternative therapies to treat infections, photodynamic therapy (PDT) being a potential candidate. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of photodynamic therapy as a light-based bactericidal modality to eliminate Staphylococcus aureus. The study investigated a technique based on a combination of light and a photosensitizer that is capable of producing oxidative species to induce a cytotoxic effect. A Staphylococcus aureus suspension was exposed to a light emitting diode (LED) emitting at 628 nm, 14.6 mW/cm(2), and energy density of 20J/cm(2), 40J/cm(2), or 60 J/cm(2) in the presence of different porphyrin concentrations (PhotogemA (R)). Three drug concentrations were employed: 12 mu l/ml, 25 mu l/ml, and 50 mu l/ml. The treatment response was evaluated by the number of bacterial colony forming units (CFU) after light exposure. The results indicated that exposure to 60 J/cm(2) eliminated 100% (10 log(10) scales) of bacteria, on average. The best PDT response rate to eliminate Staphylococcus aureus was achieved with exposure to LED light in combination with the photosensitizer at concentrations ranging from 25 mu l/ml to 50 mu l/ml. These data suggest that PDT has the potential to eliminate Staphylococcus aureus in suspension and indicates the necessary drug concentration and light fluency.