The laboratory strain of murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV), K181, has been successfully engineered as a vaccine expressing murine zona pellucida 3 (mZP3) for viral vectored immunocontraception (VVIC) in mice. However, certain laboratory strains of mice are resistant to infection with K181 and therefore demonstrate resistance to VVIC. Cmv1 is the best characterised innate resistance mechanism to MCMV and was first described in C57BL/6 mice. Resistance in C57BL/6 mice is due to early and strong activation of natural killer (NK) cells by an MCMV gene product, m157, that binds directly to the NK cell activating receptor Ly49H. In this study a wild strain of MCMV, G4, which expresses a variant m157 incapable of activating Ly49H, was engineered to express murine zona pellucida 3 (mZP3) and assessed for its ability to sterilise female C57BL/6 mice. When infected with K181-mZP3 female C57BL/6 mice remained fully fertile. In contrast, female C57BL/6 mice were sterilised by a single intraperitoneal inoculation of G4-mZP3. Infertility was induced by G4-mZP3 in three strains of mice that express Ly49H, on two different histocompatibility-2 (H-2) backgrounds. Finally, enhanced immunocontraception was observed in mice expressing H-2k mediated resistance to MCMV when infected with G4-mZP3 compared to K181-mZP3. These data indicate that when using viral vaccine vectors, variant vector strains may be used to circumvent powerful innate immune responses against the vector and promote effective vaccination. This study highlights the importance of vaccine vector genetics in vaccination strategies.