Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection is a major international public health problem. One-third of the world's population is thought to have latent tuberculosis, a condition where individuals are infected by the intracellular bacteria without active disease but are at risk for reactivation, if their immune system fails. Here, we discuss the role of nonspecific inflammatory responses mediated by cytokines and chemokines induced by interaction of innate receptors expressed in macrophages and dendritic cells (DCs). We also review current information regarding the importance of several cytokines including IL-17/IL-23 in the development of protective cellular and antibody-mediated protective responses against Mtb and their influence in containment of the infection. Finally, in this paper, emphasis is placed on the mechanisms of failure of Mtb control, including the immune dysregulation induced by the treatment with biological drugs in different autoimmune diseases. Further functional studies, focused on the mechanisms involved in the early host-Mtb interactions and the interplay between host innate and acquired immunity against Mtb, may be helpful to improve the understanding of protective responses in the lung and in the development of novel therapeutic and prophylactic tools in TB.