Safaa Momoun

Safaa Momoun

Genetics of susceptibility to fibromyalgia among Sudanese population

Safaa Ali Taha, Hassan Yousif, Mathaba Madani and Hind Abushama, University of Khartoum Faculty of Science department of Zoology


The aim of this study is to investigate the association between single nucleotide polymorphism COMT rs4680 (Val158Met) that has three polymorphisms: Val\Val, Val\Met, Met\Met with risk of developing fibromyalgia.


Fibromyalgia syndrome is an idiopathic medical condition characterized by lower pain threshold and chronic disabling pain. Fatigue and tenderness of muscles that persist for more than three months. The raising number of cases in Sudan with lack of proper diagnosis to the cases is the main factor for suggesting this research problem. Recent studies showed that fibromyalgia onset begins after psychological or physical trauma, like physical pain caused by autoimmune diseases or cancer. Studies also revealed that fibromyalgia syndrome showed familial aggregation, which indicate the genetics factor of fibromyalgia.


Samples have been collected from primary and secondary fibromyalgia patients. Rheumatoid arthritis patients and healthy control have been considered in this study. Sixty volunteers participated in this study. Samples were genotyped for COMT single nucleotide polymorphism rs4680 (Val158Met), using ARMS-PCR. Genotyping data has been analyzed using Chi square and the odd ratio has been calculated using SPSS.


The most common polymorphism among Sudanese population is the Val\Met that is associated with moderate COMT activity it is a neutral genotype that presented by the three categories. Healthy individuals presented this genotype only. The polymorphism Met\Met presented only by fibromyalgia patients. This polymorphism is associated with low catecholamine-o-methyletrasnferease enzyme activity, as previous studies have shown. In contrast the polymorphism Val/Val presented only by rheumatoid patients.


The association between Met\Met polymorphism is in accordance with previous studies in other populations. The new findings is that the polymorphism Val\Val was significantly higher among rheumatoid patients. This may indicate that individuals with the GG polymorphism who have been exposed to physical trauma seem not develop fibromyalgia.

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