Specific human leucocyte antigen (HLA) alleles are considered a genetic risk factor for the progression of haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) caused by hantaviruses. The aim of this study was to establish whether HLA-DRB alleles are associated with the severity of HFRS caused by different types of hantaviruses in a Chinese Han population from Hubei Province of central China. Twenty-two specific HLA-DRB alleles were analysed by sequence-specific primer-polymerase chain reaction (SSP-PCR) in 100 HFRS patients and 213 healthy volunteers. Associations of HLA-DRB alleles with the severity and clinical parameters of HFRS caused by Hantaan virus (HTNV) or Seoul virus (SEOV) infection were evaluated. Six alleles (HLA-DRB1*0401-0411, HLA-DRB1*1001, HLA-DRB1*1101-1105, HLA-DRB1*1201-1202, HLA-DRB1*1305 and DRB5*0101-0201) demonstrated strong associations with HFRS caused by HTNV and SEOV infections. Further comparison of these HLA-DRB1 allele frequencies between HFRS patients with differing severities and healthy controls demonstrated that the HLA-DRB1*0401-0411, HLA-DRB1*1001 and DRB1*1305 alleles were more frequent in the moderate course of HTNV-infected HFRS. Meanwhile, the DRB1*1101-1105 allele was more frequently observed in the severe course of HTNV-infected HFRS. We also found that the HLA-DRB1*1201-1202 allele frequency was higher in the moderate course of SEOV-infected HFRS, whereas the DRB5*0101-0201 allele may play a protective role in moderate HFRS caused by both HTNV and SEOV infections. These results provide evidence of the influence of HLA-DRB on the severity of HFRS and confirm the effect of HLA-DRB on HFRS during different types of hantavirus infection in a Chinese Han population in Hubei Province, China.