[en] AIMS: This study evaluated a typing method of O26:H11 enterohaemorrhagic and enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EHEC and EPEC) based on the variation in genomic location and copy numbers of IS621. METHODS AND RESULTS: Two multiplex PCRs, targeting either the left (5') or right (3') IS/chromosome junction of 12 IS621 insertion sites and one PCR specific of another truncated copy, were developed. Thirty-eight amplification profiles were observed amongst a collection of 69 human and bovine O26:H11 EHEC and EPEC. Seventy-one per cent of the 45 EHEC and EPEC with identical IS621 fingerprints within groups of two, three or four isolates had >85% pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) profile similarity, including four groups of epidemiologically related EHEC or EPEC, while most of the groups had <85% similarity between each others. Epidemiologically related EHEC from each of three independent outbreaks in Japan and Belgium also exhibited identical IS621 fingerprints and PFGE profiles. CONCLUSIONS: The IS621 fingerprinting and the PFGE are complementary typing assays of EHEC and EPEC; though, the former is less discriminatory. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: The IS621 printing method represents a rapid (24 h) first-line surveillance and typing assay, to compare and trace back O26:H11 EHEC and EPEC during surveys in farms, multiple human cases and outbreaks.