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Trends Genet. 1991 Jan;7(1):22-7.

The Lake Casitas wild mouse: evolving genetic resistance to retroviral disease.

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  • 1Department of Medical Pathology, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis 95616.


A small colony of feral mice from California continues to flourish in spite of a virulent epizootic of pathological retrovirus. Epidemiological and genetic studies revealed that the viral infection is strongly balanced by the polymorphic resistance locus, Fv-4, a transcriptionally active but truncated provirus that originated in the East Asian ancestors of the Californian mice. The natural history of these populations represents a graphic example of genomic adaptation in free-ranging populations to regulate and delimit infectious disease.

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