The genetic basis of the control of acute splenic MCMV infection was studied after intraperitoneal inoculation of the virus. Classical Mendelian analyses using C57BL/6 (resistant) and BALB/c (susceptible) parental strains disclosed an autosomal dominant non-H-2 gene that regulates splenic virus replication. The probable location of this gene, to which we have assigned the symbol Cmv-1, is on chromosome 6 as defined by the strain distribution pattern of splenic MCMV replication in CXB recombinant inbred mice. Although there is a similar hierarchy of resistance to MCMV and HSV-1 with respect to the C57BL and BALB genetic backgrounds, the strain distribution pattern of HSV-1 replication in recombinant inbred mice suggests that Cmv-1 is not involved in restricting the spread of this virus. This is the first clear identification of a non-H-2 gene regulating the magnitude of MCMV infection. Elucidation of the function of this gene may be a fundamental step towards understanding the control of systemic CMV infection.

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