Tuberculosis rates are climbing, and experts say the 1990 increase will be the largest since 1953.

Through November 1990, the incidence of tuberculosis rose 8 percent over the previous year, according to the national Centers for Disease Control. Researchers say the increase could swell to 10 percent when December statistics are reported.Of particular concern is the increase of cases among children under the age of 5. Large increases have occurred among the country's ethnic population, blacks, Hispanics and younger adults, age 25-44.

Researchers attribute much of the increase to the spread of the AIDS virus. Other causes cited include increased immigration from high-prevalence countries and transmission in institutions, such as schools, hospitals, homeless shelters, correctional facilities and nursing homes.

Amercian Lung Association President Dr. John D. Allen said tuberculosis continues at disastrous levels in developing countries.