Mycoplasma suis cannot be cultivated in vitro. Therefore, PCR-based methods are irreplaceable for the diagnosis of M. suis infections especially when clinical symptoms are not evident. Currently, no easy and reliable method allowing the quantitative detection of M. suis is available. This report describes the development of a quantitative LightCycler PCR assay based on the msg1 gene of M. suis (LC MSG1 PCR). No PCR signals were obtained with closely related haemotrophic and non-haemotrophic mycoplasmas, with other bacteria, and with M. suis-free blood and tissue arguing for a high analytical specificity. Test sensitivity was found to be 100%, and test specificity 96.7%. To test the diagnostic suitability of the LC MSG1 PCR, 25 pigs with clinical porcine eperythrozoonosis and 25 healthy pigs were investigated. All ill pigs revealed a positive real-time PCR result whereas only one healthy pig was detected to be M. suis-infected. M. suis was quantitatively detected in 19 blood specimens of 100 sows from Switzerland and in 17 of 160 post-weaning piglets from Germany. In conclusion, this new LC MSG1 PCR assay represents a powerful tool for the improvement of the current M. suis diagnosis and for prevalence and pathogenesis studies.