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Eur J Med Genet. 2005 Oct-Dec;48(4):412-20. Epub 2005 Jun 20.

Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) in Lebanon and Jordan: a population genetics study and report of three novel mutations.

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Unité de Génétique Médicale, Faculté de Médecine, Université Saint Joseph, Beyrouth, Lebanon.


Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is an autosomal recessive disease mostly frequent in Mediterranean populations. Over 50 mutations have been identified in the gene responsible for the disease, MEFV. The present study reports the frequencies of MEFV mutations in 558 Lebanese and 55 Jordanian FMF patients and points out the severity of the M694V frequently observed mutation among these patients. Three novel mutations, T177I, S108R and E474K were also identified in the Lebanese group. An excess of homozygotes and a deficit of heterozygotes were observed in both samples when compared to the expected number of observed genotypes under the Hardy-Weinberg hypothesis. Homozygotes for M694V and M694I were still in excess in the Lebanese group of patients, even after consanguinous homozygotes were removed, or population structure was considered. This excess is therefore neither due to consanguinity nor to subgroups in the Lebanese population, but rather to more remote consanguinity or to a selection bias favoring the census of these genotypes. The fact that FMF female patients were less censed than male patients may be due to the greater resistance of females to pain and to the possibility of confusing abdominal and gynecological pain. The phenotypic heterogeneity of the FMF could then originate both from genetic causes like allelic heterogeneity or modulating genes, and cultural background facing the physiological consequences of genotypes at risk.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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