Herpes simplex pneumonia (HSP), or tracheobronchial infection, occurs when the respiratory tract is infected with the herpes simplex virus (HSV). HSP typically occurs in immunosuppressed patients such as those who are neutropenic from chemotherapy, immunosuppressed following organ transplantation, or are immunocompromised from HIV/AIDS or other immunodeficiency diseases. HSP has also been reported in patients who are not immunosuppressed. In most instances, infections were related to other risk factors such as smoke inhalation, recent major surgery, coexisting bacterial pneumonia, or airway injury from intubation. HSP is reported in all ages from infants and children to extreme old age.
Symptoms of HSP include dyspnea, fever, and nonproductive cough. Symptoms can be mild to severe; some patients can have a smoldering course with minimal fever. HSP is treatable with acyclovir but can be life threatening.