The medical, food processing, ventilating, and air conditioning industries are searching for improved disinfection and sterilization technologies. Candidate techniques must deal with and overcome such problems as thermal sensitivity and destruction by heat, formation of toxic by-products, costs, and inefficiency in performance. In this study, a high voltage pulsed plasma bacteria killing method, a simple and efficient way, was tried on the Staphylococcus aureus species. The high voltage pulsed plasma operates at atmospheric pressure in oxygen and produces antibacterial active species at room temperature. In this method, the bacteria are exposed to the active species of a high voltage (25 W) pulsed plasma (25 kHz) generated at atmospheric pressure in oxygen, 40 mm above the support of the probes containing bacteria. Killing time of Staplylococcus aureus species has been obtained as low as 3 min. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.