An efficient method of control of porcine eperythrozoonosis (PE) caused by Mycoplasma suis is eradication of infection by detection and removal of infected carrier animals. At present, only a few tests are available for the diagnosis of these latent M. suis infections in pigs. The objective of this study was to develop a PCR assay based on novel DNA sequences for the identification of M. suis-infected pigs. A 1.8 kb EcoRI DNA fragment of the M. suis genome was isolated from the blood of pigs experimentally infected with M. suis. Specificity of the DNA fragment was confirmed by DNA sequence analysis and PCR using primers directed against sequences contained in the 1.8 kb fragment. PCR products of 782 bp in size were amplified only from M. suis particles prepared from the blood of experimentally infected pigs but not from any controls, comprising blood from gnotobiotic piglets and a panel of bacteria including other porcine mycoplasmas. PCR results were confirmed by dot blot hybridisation. The applicability of the PCR assay to diagnose M. suis infections in pigs was evaluated by investigating blood samples from 10 symptomatic pigs with clinical signs typical of porcine eperythrozoonosis and blood samples from 10 healthy pigs. The M. suis-specific PCR product was amplified from all samples taken at episodes of acute disease as well as from samples taken during the latent stage of infection, thus demonstrating the suitability of the PCR assay for detecting latent infected carrier animals.