For epidemiological studies of shigatoxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections, rapid, reproducible and highly discriminative methods are required. In this study, we examined the performance of the fluorescent amplified-fragment-length polymorphism (FAFLP) technique for epidemiological fingerprinting of STEC isolates and compared it to the acknowledged fingerprinting method pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). A total of 88 STEC isolates, including 82 of serotype O157[ratio ]H7 or O157[ratio ]H−, were subjected to fingerprinting by both PFGE and FAFLP. The isolates included sporadic and epidemiologically related strains of both animal and human origin from widespread geographical locations. The FAFLP fingerprint patterns confirmed the clonal nature of STEC O157 strains. Among the 82 O157[ratio ]H7/H− isolates belonging to 49 distinct groups of epidemiological unrelated isolates, 24 FAFLP profiles and 51 PFGE patterns were obtained. Thus, PFGE had a higher discriminatory power than FAFLP and overall correlated better to available epidemiological data. Consequently, the PFGE technique remains the method of choice in epidemiological investigations of STEC infections.