Mycoplasma suis belongs to haemotrophic mycoplasmas (HMs) which cause infectious anaemia in a large variety of mammals. To date, no in vitro cultivation system for M. suis or other HMs has been established. We hypothesised that M. suis could grow in classical Mycoplasma media supplemented with nutrients (e.g. glucose, iron-binding proteins) which are naturally available from its host environment, the porcine blood. Blood from experimentally M. suis-infected pigs was used to inoculate either standard SP-4 Mycoplasma medium supplemented with iron-binding proteins (transferrin, haemin, and haemoglobin) or glucose-enriched Hayflick Mycoplasma medium. A quantitative M. suis-specific real-time PCR assay was applied to determine and quantify M. suis loads weekly during 12 week-incubation. The first 2 weeks after inoculation M. suis loads decreased remarkably and then persisted at a stationary level over the observation time of 12 weeks in iron-binding protein- or glucose supplemented media variants. Scanning electron microscopic analysis of liquid M. suis sub-cultures on Hayflick agar showed small, densely-packed microcolonies of irregular M. suis cells of reduced size (0.2-0.6μm) indicating nanotransformation. The partial 16S rDNA sequence of these cultured M. suis nanocells was 99.9% identical to M. suis. M. suis cells derived from liquid cultures interact in vitro with porcine erythrocytes by fibril-like structures. We conclude, that the modified Mycoplasma media used for M. suis cultivation are obviously unfavourable for growth but lead to culture persistence. M. suis adapt to inappropriate culture conditions by alteration into nanoforms.