The importance of extended spectrum β-lactamases (ESBL) is increasing worldwide. ESBLs of the CTX-M type are on the rise in Europe, not only in the hospital environment but also in outpatients. Therefore we performed a comparative pilot study including ESBL producing Escherichia coli isolated from outpatients suffering from urinary tract infections, 28 from Innsbruck, Austria, and 34 from Bolzano, Italy. Using established PCR methods we detected in nearly 90% of ESBL producing E. coli isolates CTX-M group 1 enzymes and only a few group 2 or group 9 enzymes. bla (TEM), bla (OXA-1) and aminoacyltransferase aac(6')-lb were significantly more frequent in the Austrian region, where also bla (SHV )was found in one isolate. In 2009 the overall prevalence of ESBL in E. coli causing urinary tract infection in outpatient samples was 7.6% in a local laboratory in Innsbruck and 5% in Bolzano. Additionally, we investigated plasmid-mediated qnr genes which can contribute to quinolone resistance, qnrA was found in an AmpC producing E. coli from Innsbruck and qnrS in two ESBL producers from Bolzano. Data confirmed that ESBL-producing E. coli have emerged as important pathogens in urinary tract infections of outpatients in both regions.