The broad immunologic roles of autophagy span innate and adaptive immunity and are often manifested in inflammatory diseases. The immune effects of autophagy partially overlap with its roles in metabolism and cytoplasmic quality control but typically expand further afield to encompass unique immunologic adaptations. One of the best-appreciated manifestations of autophagy is protection against microbial invasion, but this is by no means limited to direct elimination of intracellular pathogens and includes a stratified array of nearly all principal immunologic processes. This Review summarizes the broad immunologic roles of autophagy. Furthermore, it uses the autophagic control of Mycobacterium tuberculosis as a paradigm to illustrate the breadth and complexity of the immune effects of autophagy.