The biological and genetic diversity of Neospora caninum is very limited because of availability of only a few viable isolates worldwide. This study describes the isolation and biological and molecular characterization of a new viable isolate of N. caninum (NC-SP1), from a cattle in Brazil. Approximately 400 g of brain from a naturally infected adult male cattle from an abattoir was fed to a 2-month-old dog. Neospora-like oocysts were observed on day 7 post-inoculation (PI) and the duration of oocyst shedding was 14 days. The DNA obtained from oocysts was characterized molecularly and the final sequence was 99% identical to homologous sequences of N. caninum available in GenBank®. For bioassay, gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus) were orally inoculated with 10 100 and 1000 oocysts; all gerbils remained clinically normal but developed N. caninum antibodies 14 days PI. Cell culture isolation was successful using the brain homogenate from one of the gerbils and tachyzoites were observed 24 days PI. Microsatellite genotyping revealed a unique genetic profile for this new reference isolate.