NK cell-mediated resistance to viruses is subject to genetic control in humans and mice. Here we used classical and quantitative genetic strategies to examine NK-mediated murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) control in genealogically related New Zealand white (NZW) and black (NZB) mice. NZW mice display NK cell-dependent MCMV resistance while NZB NK cells fail to limit viral replication after infection. Unlike Ly49H(+) NK resistance in C57BL/6 mice, NZW NK-mediated MCMV control was Ly49H-independent. Instead, MCMV resistance in NZW (Cmv2) involves multiple genetic factors. To establish the genetic basis of Cmv2 resistance, we further characterized a major chromosome X-linked resistance locus (DXMit216) responsible for innate MCMV control in NZW x NZB crosses. We found that the DXMit216 locus affects early MCMV control in New Zealand F(2) crosses and demonstrate that the NZB-derived DXMit216 allele enhances viral resistance in F(2) males. The evolutionary conservation of the DXMit216 region in mice and humans suggests that a Cmv2-related mechanism may affect human antiviral responses.