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Genetic diversity refers to a healthy and diverse gene pool for a specific species of either a plant or an animal. The term is also used to refer to the diversity of genetic material within an individual, a population, or an ecosystem. The latter is also and most often referred to as biodiversity (or biological diversity) and inevitably embraces all the levels of genetic diversity—namely genetic, species, community and ecosystem—needed to maintain the comprehensive health of an ecosystem.

Genetic diversity is important when discussing both micro- and macro-organisms. In terms of the former, public health intervention strategies to track the global spread of disease pathogens, to develop diagnostics and vaccines, and to understand the emergence of new and drug resistant vaccines are founded upon the ...

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