Measles virus (MV), one of the most infectious of human pathogens, still infects over 30 million humans and causes over 500,000 deaths each year [Griffin, D., 2001. Measles virus. In: Fields, B., Knipe, D., Howley, P. (Eds.), Fields Virology. Lippincott-Raven, Philadelphia, pp. 1401-1442; ]. Death is primarily due to secondary microbial infections associated with the immunosuppression caused by MV. Studies of humans with genetic or acquired deficiencies of either the humoral or cellular arm of the immune system, and rodent models have implicated T cells in the control of the ongoing MV infection but the precise role and activities of the specific T cell subset or the molecules they produce is not clear. Using a transgenic mouse model in conjunction with depletion and reconstitution of individual B and T cell subsets alone or in combination, we show that neither CD4, CD8 nor B cells per se control acute MV infection. However, combinations of either CD4 T cells and B cells, or of CD4 and CD8 T cells are essential but CD8 T with B cells are ineffective. Interferon-gamma and neutralizing antibodies, but neither perforin nor TNF-alpha alone are associated with clearance of MV infection. TNF-alpha combined with interferon-gamma is more effective in protection than interferon alone. Further, the lack of an interferon-gamma response leads to persistence of MV.