The effects of marginal malnourishment , infections, and environmental chemicals on growth and reproductive success in Swiss-Webster white mice and wild deer mice were studied with fractional factorial designs. Interaction effects were discovered. For example, malnourished mice were more sensitive to virus exposure and environmental chemicals (a plant growth regulator or polychlorinated biphenyls). Since several commercial plant growth regulators also appear to suppress the immune system, these results cast doubt on the adequacy of current toxicity testing procedures in which factors are studied individually and not in combination.