Individuals differ in their susceptibilities to viruses. The genetic make-up of individuals affects the viral susceptibility, but the underlying mechanisms that cause different susceptibilities are often elusive.
Research in inbred populations of model organisms can help to unravel which genetic variants in which pathways affect individual susceptibility. In this review we describe genetic populations that are available for three main model organisms (mouse, fruit fly and nematode). We explain how studying these inbred populations can be used to address the effect of genetic variation on pathways that determine the viral susceptibility.