Cytomegalovirus (CMV) remains a major human pathogen causing significant morbidity and mortality in immunosuppressed or immunoimmature individuals. Although significant advances have been made in dissecting out certain features of the host response to human CMV (HCMV) infection, the strict species specificity of CMVs means that most aspects of antiviral immunity are best assessed in animal models. The mouse model of murine CMV (MCMV) infection is an important tool for analysis of in vivo features of host-virus interactions and responses to antiviral drugs that are difficult to assess in humans. Important studies of the contribution of host resistance genes to infection outcome, interplays between innate and adaptive host immune responses, the contribution of virus immune evasion genes and genetic variation in these genes to the establishment of persistence and in vivo studies of resistance to antiviral drugs have benefited from the well-developed MCMV model. In this review, we discuss recent advances in the immunobiology of host-CMV interactions that provide intriguing insights into the complex interplay between host and virus that ultimately facilitates viral persistence. We also discuss recent studies of genetic responses to antiviral therapy, particularly changes in DNA polymerase and protein kinase genes of MCMV and HCMV.