Scientists have developed the first effective alternative to antibiotics in what is being described as a major development in the battle against superbugs.
A patient trial showed the drug was effective at eradicating the MRSA superbug. Scientists say it is unlikely the infection could develop resistance against the new treatment which is already available as a cream for skin infections.
Researchers hope to develop a pill or injectable version of the drug within five years, the Times reported.

Conventional antibiotics are losing their effectiveness against infections which has led David Cameron to warn that drug resistant superbugs could take medicine “back to the dark ages”.
Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer has predicted an “apocalyptic” scenario in which basic procedures from hip replacement to chemotherapy become fatal unless effective drugs are quickly developed.
About 5,000 deaths a year are caused by antibiotic-resistant strains of disease. The last new class of antibiotics was produced in the 1980s and scientists believe that new approaches are necessary to combat drug-resistant infections.
The new treatment attacks infections in an entirely different way from conventional drugs and exclusively targets the Staphylococcus bacteria responsible for MRSA and leaves other microbes unaffected.
Dr Bjorn Herpers, Clinical Microbiologist at Micreos, the Dutch biotech firm behind the advance, said: "The results demonstrate the potential this technology has to revolutionise the way we treat certain bacterial infections. With the increasing prevalence of multidrug-resistant bacteria, new strategies for the treatment of bacterial infections are needed. As well as being less prone to resistance induction than antibiotics, endolysins destroy only their target bacterial species, leaving the beneficial bacteria alone."
The treatment relies on naturally occurring viruses that attack bacteria using enzymes called endolysins. It uses a “designer” endolysin, Staphefekt, which the scientists engineered to latch on to the surface of bacteria cells and destroy them.
Conventional antibiotics target the inside of the cell to work, and part of the reason they are becoming less effective is that certain strains of bacteria, such as MRSA, have evolved impenetrable membranes.However, endolysins target basic building blocks on the outside of bacterial cells that are unlikely to change as infections genetically mutate over time.


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