Seadornaviruses are emerging arboviral pathogens from the south-east of Asia. The genus Seadornavirus contains two distinct species, Banna virus (BAV) isolated from humans with encephalitis and Kadipiro virus. BAV replicates within insect cells and mice but not in cultured mammalian cells. Here, the discovery of Liao ning virus (LNV), a new seadornavirus from the Aedes dorsalis mosquito, which was completely sequenced and was found to be related to BAV and Kadipiro virus, is reported. Two serotypes of LNV could be distinguished by a serum neutralization assay. According to amino acid identity with other seadornaviruses, and to criteria set by the ICTV for species delineation, LNV was identified as a member of a new species of virus. Its morphology was characterized by electron microscopy and found to be similar to that of BAV. LNV is the first reported seadornavirus that replicates in mammalian cells, leading to massive cytopathic effect in all transformed or embryonic cell lines tested. LNV- and BAV-infected mice producing a viraemia lasting for 5 days was followed by viral clearance. Mice infection generated virus quasi-species for LNV (the first reported observation for quasi-species in the family Reoviridae) but not for BAV. Challenge with BAV in mice immunized against BAV did not lead to productive infection. However, challenge with LNV in mice immunized against LNV was lethal with a new phase of viraemia and massive haemorrhage.
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