Austria recorded an increase in the number of reported E. coli infections in 2021, based on the latest data.
In 2021, 1,437 specimens were processed at the National Reference Centre for E. coli. Overall, 1,286 human samples, 79 food, and 35 pet food samples were analyzed.
A total of 476 human stool samples tested positive for Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). Of these, 310 isolates were confirmed as Shiga toxin-producing compared to 242 in 2020.
In 2021, only 34 were E. coli O157 with the rest non-O157. Among the latter, there were 25 O26, 26 O103, three O111, and 12 O145 isolates. In the Austrian Epidemiological Notification System (EMS), 384 cases were reported, up from 304 in 2020.
In Upper Austria, 53 cases were reported to the EMS in 2020 compared to 104 in 2021. This same state sent 123 human samples to the National Reference Centre in 2020 versus 566 in 2021.