We present a quantum dot based DNA nanosensor specifically targeting the cleavage step in the reaction cycle of the essential DNA-modifying enzyme, mycobacterial topoisomerase I. The design takes advantages of the unique photophysical properties of quantum dots to generate visible fluorescence recovery upon specific cleavage by mycobacterial topoisomerase I. This report, for the first time, demonstrates the possibility to quantify the cleavage activity of the mycobacterial enzyme without the pre-processing sample purification or post-processing signal amplification. The cleavage induced signal response has also proven reliable in biological matrices, such as whole cell extracts prepared from Escherichia coli and human Caco-2 cells. It is expected that the assay may contribute to the clinical diagnostics of bacterial diseases, as well as the evaluation of treatment outcomes.