Abstract
Background

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB) usually enter water sources in different ways, such as via municipal and hospital wastewaters. Because conventional technologies used to treat water inefficient in removing these contaminants (especially antibiotic-resistant genes; ARGs), these contaminants easily enter drinking water distribution networks and pose serious threats to consumers’ health. This study’s main purpose is to systematically investigate the effect of chlorine disinfection on ARGs in drinking water supply systems. This study could play an important role in elucidating the effect of chlorine disinfection on ARGs.

Methods

The systematic review outlining this protocol will be performed according to the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence (CEE) guidelines. The main question is, “what is the effect of chlorine disinfection on ARGs in drinking water supply systems?” For this purpose, the articles will be considered, in which chlorine’s effect on ARGs is investigated. The search includes electronic resources, grey literature, and related websites. Electronic resources include Scopus, PubMed, Embase, Web of Science Core Collection, and Science Direct. After the final search, the obtained articles will be collected in the reference management software (Endnote X8). Upon removing the duplicate articles, the first stage of article screening will be performed based on the title and abstract the articles. In the second stage, the articles obtained from the first screening stage will be screened based on the full text of the articles based on the eligibility criteria. Then, two members of the expert team extract the data. To assess the validity of the articles, bias sources will be determined by an expert team. Biases will be defined according to the criteria designed by Bilotta et al. Finally, a narrative synthesis will be performed for the extracted data; if appropriate data are available, quantitative analysis will also be performed.

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