Surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) has been used to detect bacteria captured by polyclonal antibodies sorbed onto protein-A-modified silver nanoparticles. The selectivity and discrimination of the technique were assured by using a specific antibody to the model bacterium, Escherichia coli. As the SERS enhancement mechanism depends upon the metal surface proximity, 8 nm was considered as the optimum distance between the bacterium and the nanoparticle surface. Spectral reproducibility was verified using Principal Components Analysis to differentiate the clusters corresponding to the biomolecules and/or bacteria sorbed onto nanoparticles. Compared to the normal Raman spectrum, the SERS technique resulted in an intensity enhancement of over 20-fold.