Immunogenic Potential of the Mediterranean Fever Gene in Patients with Coronavirus Disease: A Cross-Sectional Study

Iran J Med Sci. 2023 Jan;48(1):43-48. doi: 10.30476/IJMS.2022.92802.2408.


Background: In December 2019, an outbreak of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) became a pandemic and caused a global health crisis. This study evaluates the immunogenic potential of the Mediterranean fever (MEFV) gene in patients with COVID-19.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from March to April 2020 in various COVID-19 referral centers in Ardabil, Iran. Blood samples of 50 hospitalized patients with confirmed COVID-19 were evaluated for MEFV gene mutation using the amplification refractory mutation system polymerase chain reaction (ARMS-PCR) and Sanger sequencing. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS software, version 22.0.

Results: Mutations of the MEFV gene were found in 6 (12%) of the patients. All mutations were heterozygous, and no homozygous or compound heterozygous forms were detected. The total mutant allele frequency was 6% and the carrier rate was 12%. The most common allele of the MEFV variant was E148Q, detected in 3 (6%) patients. No mutant variant of the MEFV gene was detected in deceased patients. None of the mutation carriers had familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) symptoms or a family history of FMF.

Conclusion: MEFV gene mutations may have immunogenic potential in patients with COVID-19. A preprint version of this article has already been published at

Keywords: COVID-19; Familial Mediterranean fever; MEFV gene.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Familial Mediterranean Fever* / epidemiology
  • Familial Mediterranean Fever* / genetics
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Pyrin / genetics


  • Pyrin
  • MEFV protein, human