Host-pathogen interactions of measles virus (MV), a leading cause of childhood mortality worldwide, are still poorly understood. Using transgenic mice that express the human MV receptor CD46, we generated models to study the pathogenesis of MV infection of the central nervous system (CNS) and immune system. CNS infection in CD46 transgenic mice allows replication and spread throughout neurons, inflammation, and ultimately death of the animals. CD46-transgenic mice can also be used to study immunosuppression, a hallmark of measles. Together with mouse knockout technology and a system for generating recombinant MVs, CD46 transgenic mice will ultimately lead to a better understanding of both viral and host factors contributing to disease.