Aerosols are the most promising non-injectable method of measles vaccination studied so far and their efficacy is thought to be comparable to injected vaccine. We conducted a systematic review up to May 2006 to examine the immunogenicity and safety of aerosolized measles vaccine (Edmonston-Zagreb or Schwarz strains) 1 month or more after vaccination. Where possible we estimated pooled serological response rates and odds ratios (with 95% confidence intervals, CI) comparing aerosolized and subcutaneous vaccines in children in three age groups and adults. We included seven randomized trials, four non-randomized trials and six uncontrolled studies providing serological outcome data on 2887 individuals. In children below 10 months, the studies were heterogeneous. In four comparative studies, seroconversion rates were lower with aerosolized than with subcutaneous vaccine and in two of these the difference was unlikely to be due to chance. In children 10-36 months, the pooled seroconversion rate with aerosolized vaccine was 93.5% (89.4-97.7%) and 97.1% (92.4-100%) with subcutaneous vaccine (odds ratio 0.27, 0.04-1.62). In 5-15-year olds the studies were heterogeneous. In all comparative studies aerosolized vaccine was more immunogenic than subcutaneous. Reported side effects were mild. Aerosolized measles vaccine appears to be equally or more immunogenic than subcutaneous vaccine in children aged 10 months and older. Large randomized trials are needed to establish the efficacy and safety of aerosolized measles vaccine as primary and booster doses.