Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection shows epidemiological peaks with a 2- to 10-fold increased incidence every four to seven years. The regional epidemiology of M. pneumoniae infection is important with regard to empirical antibiotic treatment of community-acquired respiratory tract infections, which are the most common cause for visiting a physician. To date, no data on the epidemiology of M. pneumoniae in central Europe have been published. In the present study, the results of M. pneumoniae serology performed at the Clinical Division of Virology at Vienna General Hospital (a 2,140-bed university teaching hospital with an average of 94,000 admissions/year and 430,000 outpatient visits/year) in the 10-year period from January 1995 to December 2004 were analyzed retrospectively. Antibody titers > or = 1:64 in complement fixation tests were considered indicative of acute or recent mycoplasma infection. The annual total number of serum specimens tested for anti-M. pneumoniae antibodies remained stable throughout the study period (median: 2859 samples/year, range: 2257-3338). The annual median number of patients with high M. pneumoniae titers was 13. A major epidemiological peak (43 patients) was observed in 2000, the epidemic starting in late 1999 and ending in 2001. A surveillance or reporting system for M. pneumoniae infections (i.e. positive serological results for M. pneumoniae) would be useful for physicians caring for patients with community-acquired respiratory tract infections.