Live attenuated measles virus (MV) vaccines have an impressive record of safety, efficacy and ability to induce life-long immunity against measles infection. Using reverse genetics technology, such negative-strand RNA viruses can now be rescued from cloned DNA. This technology allows the insertion of exogenous genes encoding foreign antigens into the MV genome in such a way that they can be expressed by the MV vaccine strain, without affecting virus structure, propagation and cell targeting. Recombinant viruses rescued from cloned cDNA induce immune responses against both measles virus and the cloned antigens. The tolerability of MV to gene(s) insertion makes it an attractive flexible vector system, especially if broad immune responses are required. The fact that measles replication strictly occurs in the cytoplasm of infected cells without DNA intermediate has important biosafety implications and adds to the attractiveness of MV as a vector. In this article we report the characteristics of reporter gene expression (GFP, LacZ and CAT) and the biochemical, biophysical and immunological properties of recombinant MV expressing heterologous antigens of simian immunogeficiency virus (SIV).