For many encephalitis cases, the cause remains unidentified. After 2 children (from the same family) received a diagnosis of acute necrotizing encephalopathy at Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (Tours, France), we attempted to identify the etiologic agent. Because clinical samples from the 2 patients were negative for all pathogens tested, urine and throat swab specimens were added to epithelial cells, and virus isolates detected were characterized by molecular analysis and electron microscopy. We identified a novel reovirus strain (serotype 2), MRV2Tou05, which seems to be closely related to porcine and human strains. A specific antibody response directed against this new reovirus strain was observed in convalescent-phase serum specimens from the patients, whereas no response was observed in 38 serum specimens from 38 healthy adults. This novel reovirus is a new etiologic agent of encephalitis.