Approximately 2 billion people are infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), resulting in 1.4 million deaths every year. Among Mtb-infected individuals, clinical isolates belonging to the W-Beijing lineage are increasingly prevalent, associated with drug resistance, and cause severe disease immunopathology in animal models. Therefore, it is exceedingly important to identify the immune mechanisms that mediate protection against rapidly emerging Mtb strains, such as W-Beijing lineage. IL-22 is a member of the IL-10 family of cytokines with both protective and pathological functions at mucosal surfaces. Thus far, collective data show that IL-22 deficient mice are not more susceptible to aerosolized infection with less virulent Mtb strains. Thus, in this study we addressed the functional role for the IL-22 pathway in immunity to emerging Mtb isolates, using W-Beijing lineage member, Mtb HN878 as a prototype. We show that Mtb HN878 stimulates IL-22 production in TLR2 dependent manner and IL-22 mediates protective immunity during chronic stages of Mtb HN878 infection in mice. Interestingly, IL-22-dependent pathways in both epithelial cells and macrophages mediate protective mechanisms for Mtb HN878 control. Thus, our results project a new protective role for IL-22 in emerging Mtb infections.