Let's talk about Familial Mediterranean Fever
What is familial Mediterranean fever (FMF)?
Familial Mediterranean fever, or FMF, is a genetic disorder characterized by recurring short episodes of fever, as well as inflammation in the abdomen, chest, and joints. In most cases, a person must have two variants in the MEFV gene, or two copies of a variant, in order to have this condition. People with just one variant in the MEFV gene are called carriers. Most carriers do not have FMF themselves, but they could pass their variant on to their future children.
Is FMF genetic?
Yes, FMF is a genetic condition. FMF is caused by variants (differences) in the MEFV gene.The MEFV gene contains instructions for making a protein called pyrin. Though pyrin’s function isn’t completely understood, it may play a role in the body’s immune response. Certain variants in the MEFV gene prevent pyrin from working properly, which can trigger an inappropriate immune response and lead to symptoms like fever or inflammation.
What are the symptoms of FMF?
Symptoms of FMF include periodic episodes of fever; inflammation in the abdomen, chest, and joints; skin rash; and abnormal protein buildup in the kidneys. Symptoms of FMF can develop anytime from early childhood to adulthood, but most people with the condition experience their first episode before the age of 20.
Did you know?
FMF is most common in people of Arab, Armenian, Sephardic Jewish, and Turkish descent.
The 23andMe Familial Mediterranean Fever Carrier Status report* can tell you whether you may be a carrier for FMF. Being a carrier means you have a genetic variant that you could pass down to your future children. 23andMe tests for seven variants in the MEFV gene linked to FMF, and the report is most relevant for people of Arab, Armenian, Sephardic Jewish, and Turkish descent. 23andMe does not test for all possible genetic variants linked to FMF, and individuals who have zero variants detected still have a chance of being a carrier for FMF.
The Familial Mediterranean Fever Carrier Status report is included in the 23andMe Health + Ancestry Service.
*The 23andMe PGS test uses qualitative genotyping to detect select clinically relevant variants in the genomic DNA of adults for the purpose of reporting carrier status and reporting and interpreting genetic health risks. The relevance of each report may vary based on ethnicity. Our carrier status reports can be used to determine carrier status, but cannot determine if you have two copies of any genetic variant. These carrier reports are not intended to tell you anything about your risk for developing a disease in the future or anything about the health of your fetus, or your newborn child’s risk of developing a particular disease later in life. For certain conditions, we provide a single report that includes information on both carrier status and genetic health risk. The Familial Mediterranean Fever Carrier Status report is indicated for the detection of 7 variants in the MEFV gene and is most relevant for people of Arab, Armenian, Sephardic Jewish, and Turkish descent. For important information and limitations regarding each carrier status report, visit https://www.23andme.com/test-info.
Mayo Clinic. “Familial Mediterranean fever.” Retrieved May 10, 2021, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/familial-mediterranean-fever/symptoms-causes/syc-20372470.
MedlinePlus. “Familial Mediterranean fever” Retrieved May 10, 2021, from https://medlineplus.gov/genetics/condition/familial-mediterranean-fever/.
National Organization for Rare Disorders. “Familial Mediterranean Fever.” Retrieved May 10, 2021, from https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/familial-mediterranean-fever/.
Shohat M et al. (2000). “Familial Mediterranean Fever.” [Updated 2016 Dec 15].