Tuberculosis is an ancient human disease that is still a major cause of death and one of the most challenging public health problems worldwide. After decades of stagnancy, new public-private partnerships to fight the disease and the increasing awareness of a vicious circle between the tuberculosis epidemic and the obstruction of economic development have fuelled recent progress in our understanding of the disease. As a result, new strategies to improve management and treatment of tuberculosis have been initiated. At the same time, however, the devastating effect of human immunodeficiency virus on tuberculosis susceptibility and the rapid expansion of multidrug-resistant (MDR) tuberculosis threaten to undermine the advances made by tuberculosis management programs. With an estimated 9 million new cases annually, tuberculosis affects a higher number of individuals worldwide than ever before. Here, recent developments in the epidemiology and management of tuberculosis are summarized and an overview is provided of emerging strategies to combat this ancient scourge.