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Adolescence is characterised by a substantial increase in the incidence of tuberculosis, a known fact since the early 20th century. Most of the world’s adolescents live in low-income and middle-income countries where tuberculosis remains common, and where they comprise a quarter of the population. Despite this, adolescents have not yet been addressed as a distinct population in tuberculosis policy or within tuberculosis treatment services, and emerging evidence suggests that current models of care do not meet their needs. This Review discusses up-to-date information about tuberculosis in adolescence, with a focus on the management of infection and disease, including HIV co-infection and rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis. We outline the progress in vaccine development and highlight important directions for future research.