Tuberculosis (TB) is an international public health priority and kills almost two million people annually. TB is out of control in Africa due to increasing poverty and HIV coinfection, and drug-resistant TB threatens to destabilize TB control efforts in several regions of the world. Existing diagnostic tools and therapeutic interventions for TB are suboptimal. Thus, new vaccines, immunotherapeutic interventions and diagnostic tools are urgently required to facilitate TB control efforts. An improved understanding of the immunopathogenesis of TB can facilitate the identification of correlates of immune protection, the design of effective vaccines, the rational selection of immunotherapeutic agents, the evaluation of new drug candidates, and drive the development of new immunodiagnostic tools. Here we review the immunology of TB with a focus on aspects that are clinically and therapeutically relevant. An immunologically orientated approach to tackling TB can only succeed with concurrent efforts to alleviate poverty and reduce the global burden of HIV.