The objective of this investigation is to develop a bioluminescent bioreporter system for the detection and monitoring of pathogenic microbial species. Current detection methodologies typically rely on time-consuming sample pre-enrichment steps to elevate pathogen concentrations to detectable levels or DNA based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques that require extensive user training and expensive instrumentation. Detection utilizing bioluminescent bioreporter organisms, however, can provide a simple and rapid means of monitoring foodborne pathogens. Bioluminescent bioreporters are engineered to produce light in response to specific environmental inducers. The light signal is then measured with photodetector devices to generate a quantitative assessment of inducer concentration. The immediate goal of this research effort is to integrate key quorum sensing signal transduction elements into pathogen specific bacteriophages. Upon infection of a unique pathogenic species by the bacteriophages, quorum sensing signals will be generated that will subsequently stimulate bioluminescence in neighboring bioluminescent bioreporter cells. Utilizing both bacteriophages and bioluminescent bioreporters, we realize exceptional pathogen specificity while attaining enhanced bioluminescence production. This integrative approach will lead to rapid pathogen identification without requisite sample pre-enrichment. Additionally, since the bioluminescent response is completely intrinsic to the bioreporter organism, no user interventions are required for generating light signals; the protocol requires only addition of the food sample with the bacteriophage/bioluminescent bioreporter system. Measurement of light responses can be achieved using high-throughput microtiter plate readers, hand-held photomultiplier units, or microchip luminometers.