Genetic variation influences how the genome is interpreted in individuals and in mouse strains used to model immune responses. We developed approaches to utilize next-generation sequencing datasets to identify sequence variation in genes and enhancer elements in congenic and backcross mouse models. We defined genetic variation in the widely used B6-CD45.2 and B6.SJL-CD45.1 congenic model, identifying substantial differences in SJL genetic content retained in B6.SJL-CD45.1 strains on the basis of the vendor source of the mice. Genes encoding PD-1, CD62L, Bcl-2, cathepsin E, and Cxcr4 were within SJL genetic content in at least one vendor source of B6.SJL-CD45.1 mice. SJL genetic content affected enhancer elements, gene regulation, protein expression, and amino acid content in CD4+ T helper 1 cells, and mice infected with influenza showed reduced expression of Cxcr4 on B6.SJL-CD45.1 T follicular helper cells. These findings provide information on experimental variables and aid in creating approaches that account for genetic variables.