Scientists believe they have found an alternative to antibiotics that could be used to combat superbugs such as MRSA.

A small test study suggested the new drug, an enzyme that solely targets the bacteria in MRSA, was effective against the infection, with scientists claiming the likelihood of the bug becoming resistant to it was "very limited".

Dutch biotech firm Micreos presented the ­findings at the EuroSciCon meeting, called Antibiotics Alternatives for the New Millennium, in London yesterday. Micreos CEO Mark Offerhaus hailed it as a "new era in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria" and said "millions of people stand to benefit".

MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is a potentially deadly bacteria that causes serious infections.