Abstract Inbred SPRET/Ei mice, derived from Mus spretus, were found to be extremely resistant to infection with a mouse adapted influenza A virus. The resistance was strongly linked to distal chromosome 16, where the interferon-inducible Mx1 gene is located. This gene encodes for the Mx1 protein which stimulates innate immunity to Orthomyxoviruses. The Mx1 gene is defective in most inbred mouse strains, but PCR revealed that SPRET/Ei carries a functional allele. The Mx1 proteins of M. spretus and A2G, the other major resistant strain derived from Mus musculus, share 95.7% identity. We were interested whether the sequence variations between the two Mx1 alleles have functional significance. To address this, we used congenic mouse strains containing the Mx1 gene from M. spretus or A2G in a C57BL/6 background. Using a highly pathogenic influenza virus strain, we found that the B6. spretus- Mx1 congenic mice were better protected against infection than the B6.A2G- Mx1 mice. This effect may be due to different Mx1 induction levels, as was shown by RT-PCR and Western blot. We conclude that SPRET/Ei is a novel Mx1-positive inbred strain useful to study the biology of Mx1.